"They'll follow her. She's the face of the rebellion"
— Plutarch Heavensbee
In the first film in The Hunger Games franchise, we watched a young girl (Jennifer Lawrence) fetched by fate to become a heroine in the gladiator games and a pain in the neck to President Snow (Donald Sutherland), ruler of Panem. As this saga continues, Katniss Everdeen is in an unsettling transitional period in her life. She is subject to varying moods as she battles to recover from the shock her body, mind, and spirit have undergone in the past months.
Katniss is angry that her partner during the Games, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), was not rescued from the arena at the end of the last tournament (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire). He is now in the Capitol where he is giving propaganda talks that seem to her completely out of character for him. She misses him and feels a soulful loss in her days. At the same time, Katniss still feels close to Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) but her experiences have taken her far away from their romantic moments as adolescents. She has maternal feelings for her sister whose closest companion is her cat.
The worst part of this transition period is Katniss's anger at being manipulated by Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the ruling President of District 13 and rebel strategy-maker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). They want her to rally the people in the other districts for a full-scale rebellion against the Capitol. They talk her into visiting the bombed-out remains of her home District 12 where bodies still lie in piles on the streets. In another district, she witnesses an attack by the Capitol forces on a hospital. A film team patiently waits to capture the perfect moment where this heroine's righteous indignation surfaces and becomes a rallying cry for the rebels to join the fight. Then a bit later, Katniss is just another citizen in District 13 running down to a deep underground bomb shelter. Overhead, President Snow presents his very own version of shock and awe. The rebels put into action a plan to free Peeta and others held in the Capitol.
Jennifer Lawrence rises to the occasion in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 and manages to communicate with us heart-to-heart. We feel her mixed moods of loss, anger, and righteous indignation as she is called upon to serve her nation as its catalytic freedom fighter. Mockingjay — Part 2 will be released in November 2015.