The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1 (Original Motion Picture Score)


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt.1 (Original Motion Picture Score)

by Kaly Nasiff


There’s been a lot of hype about the Lorde-curated “Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack,” but none of those songs plays before the credits of the movie. What we are treated to throughout the film is the wonderful score composed by James Newton Howard.

Unlike some cinematic scores, Howard’s fits the movies tone perfectly and never distracts from the plot. Mockingjay Part 1 is a film that builds toward the next, and the score is representative of that. Tracks like “Remind Her Who The Enemy Is” and “White Roses“ build and build then fade out for a while, only to build again before the song fades out as the scene ends.

The stand out track is “The Hanging Tree,” sung by Jennifer Lawrence. She takes a haunting song from “The Hunger Games” books and brings it to life. The song becomes a protest song for the people of the Districts in the movie, and it elevates the scenes that it’s played in, making them some of the most powerful in the movie. It’s such a haunting song that you’ll have “The Hanging Tree” stuck in your head when you leave the theater. According to the U.K.’s Official Charts Company, audiences in the U.K. have liked it so much that it’s landed at number 29 on their charts.

Other notable songs include “District 12” and “District 12 Ruins” which showcase the heartbreak of characters Katniss and Gale as they visit their now-destroyed home. The score has a generally melancholy but powerful feel, which showcases the war that the film’s characters are in quite nicely. The final track is titled “Victory” and reminds audiences that in war victories come with a price.

This score is masterfully put together with all the tracks fading beautifully into each other. It’s clear that Howard has the musical talent to back up his eight Oscar nominations, though he could come up with some more creative titles. If you’re looking for some powerful music to play in the background while you furiously study for finals, then this is your score.