It’s time for our Chapter 19 installment of By the Book, where the Mockingjay.net staff predicts what parts of “Catching Fire” will make it from the book and into the film, what scenes we’re afraid might get cut, and what quotes we hope to hear included in the script.
By the Book contains spoilers for Catching Fire, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to ruin any surprises, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!
“Ladies and gentlemen, let the Seventy-fifth Hunger Games begin!” At first Katniss has trouble with her vision, then realizes it’s the sun shining off the water surrounding her platform. When the gong sounds, Katniss swims straight for the Cornucopia, where she grabs the bow and aarows and turns to find Finnick, poised to attack, but then he says, “Lucky thing we’re allies.” The bloodbath continues, Finnick swims out to resue Peeta from drowning, and the three of them and Mags head into the jungle. They start looking for water and reach the edge of the arena, where Peeta walks straight into the forcefield and electrocutes himself. When Katniss puts her head against his chest, she finds that his heart isn’t beating.
First of all, I must say I love the name of part 3 ʺThe Enemyʺ ! The moment when we discover the arena, just like in the first book, I always almost anxious, wondering what Katniss will have to face. This arena is particularly complex and it’s a very important part of the book. It’s been left out of the trailer but it’s a good thing in my opinion: we will discover it in the movie. Creating this arena must be difficult, but I’m sure Francis Lawrence and his team will have created an arena very true to the book. I don’t know if the bloodbath will precisely be exactly the same as the book, it may be a quick battle scene, but the alliance between Finnick and Katniss is definitely important, and it can’t be left out. We already know from the set pictures that Finnick is going to pick Peeta from his metal plate. And the part when they get in the jungle, and Peeta walks into the forcefield, I really hope it makes it to the movie, because it’s an important event in the Finnick and Katniss relation. My heart stopped along with Peeta’s in this part and I’m sure if it makes it on screen it will be just as emotional.
Line I Hope Makes It
Finnick: ʺLucky thing we’re allies. Right?ʺ
I really hope the Cornucopia scene is as tense and adrenaline-pumping as it was in the first movie. I don’t know that I’d have it be completely silent once again, though, because I think one of the main differences with the second arena is that it’s not just the other tributes they’re fighting at the Cornucopia: it’s also the elements. So the sound of the crashing waves around them might be a good background for the first part of this scene.
I’d really like to see how Jennifer goes from the horror of Cinna’s last moment to that ʺyou must think like a Careerʺ determination that she shows once she jumps into the water. I think her encounter with Finnick at the Cornucopia will remain similar to the book; if not in dialogue, then at least in actions: she will aim her bow at him and he will show her the bracelet to signify that they are allies. If we see the bodies lying on the sand or floating, that’ll be chilling.
Finnick will help Peeta (who, as we know, is probably at his platform, trying to shake off the D10 male tribute), and they’ll be off. I doubt Finnick’s line about none of them being Victors by chance will make it in verbatim, but I can see Katniss asking herself out loud how they can kill each other if they’re friends, and Finnick saying something along the lines of ʺthey have to.ʺ I’d also like to see some signs of Peeta subtly distrusting Finnick, like when he stands between he and Katniss, but of course this won’t be overt.
The moment when Peeta hits the force field, however, has to be there pretty much exactly as it was in the book, not just because of the emotional repercussions, but also because I think one of the best things about the Quell is that they have relatively peaceful moments, which almost lull us readers/audience into a false sense of security, and then WHAM, we’re hit with a crescendo of drama and/or action. So I really hope to see them walking in relative calm, then Katniss notices the ʺchinkʺ in the force field (hello, foreshadowing!), intends to warn Peeta but BAM!, too late. And when she goes to try and shake him and finds no pulse, I need to see her expression crumble, the panic in her eyes. Jen can pull this off wonderfully, I’m sure. Oh, my heart is already clenching!
Line I Hope Makes It
I don’t really think any lines will be in the movie verbatim, except maybe for Katniss crying out ʺPeeta?ʺ when he hits the force field.
After all the build up, finally it’s time to enter the arena. In our Chapter 18 discussion I said I wanted to feel exactly the same emotions as Katniss does upon entering the arena and with an Academy Award winning actress at the helm I know this moment won’t disappoint. I expect to see Katniss’ face go from bewilderment, to registering her surroundings, to a steely resolve in time to react to the gong. I can’t wait to see Katniss back in action again, diving to her left and then sprinting up the beach to the Cornucopia and its weapons pile. I think this sequence will play out just as it does in the book, with Katniss grabbing a bow and a sheath of arrows before turning around to find Finnick watching her. Finnick’s cheeky grin here as he says to Katniss ʺlucky thing we’re allies, right?ʺ will be worth the admission price alone. I also can’t wait to see him wield the trident as the D5 tribute hits the deck, with Katniss firing an arrow or two before the pair make off down the beach to collect Peeta and Mags. Being movie pace I don’t think it will be long before they are pretty deep into the jungle, with a little chatter as they walk. I hope that Katniss scaling a tree to survey the arena will make it, as I found this a rather powerful moment in the book – in less than 24 hours we have moved from a seemingly common cause, to falling back into the same old patterns just as The Capitol wants. Finnick’s line about none of them being Victor’s by chance is also rather telling and I’d like to think it will make it to film. This chapter also sets off the start of many ‘cliffhanger’ moments within the arena with Peeta’s temporary death. Even though I know what’s happening I know I will be a complete sobbing wreck as Peeta hits the forcefield, Katniss runs to him to put her head on his chest and then calls out ʺPeeta?ʺ. Bring as many tissues as you can carry!
Lines I Hope Make It
Finnick: ʺLucky thing we’re allies. Right?ʺ
Finnick: ʺNo one in this arena was a Victor by chance. Except maybe Peeta.ʺ