A few days ago we brought you Part One of our discussion on some of the Mockingjay.net staff members favourite scenes of ‘Catching Fire’. Now it’s time for Part Two! You might still find some scenes are ‘missing’ but these are the ones that stood out the most to our staffers. We could have very easily titled this editorial “Mockingjay.net Staff Discuss Favourite Scenes of ‘Catching Fire’: Entire Movie Edition’ and we very well might one day!
We had some amazing comments left on Part One, so please keep them coming 😀 Again, here they are in no particular order:
District 11 Victory Tour
Ciara: The Odds are Never in our Favor. The armoured van they are forced to travel in with a heavy Peacekeeper entourage. The flippiant way Effie tells them how they will have to speak about the fallen tributes, Thresh and Rue. The anguish in Katniss’ eyes. Peeta’s offer to do all the talking: there’s a slow build-up of tension before the victors even step out to greet the crowds of District 11. The air is so still as the families of the dead stand on raised platform with their loved ones’ images on gigantic screens, a spotlight on their grief. Our first introduction to the Victory Tour encapsulates everything Collins told us of its purpose: “… it is the Capitol’s way of keeping the horror fresh and immediate.” And it’s really the performances that hold it all together, particularly Jennifer Lawrence and Kimberley Drummond. I love that they included Peeta dropping the card and speaking from the heart (Haymitch’s “Oh s***” also drives the revolutionary point home). The way in which Katniss hesitates to speak and then turns back because she must say something, every beat of the scene is orchestrated to perfection. It’s a highly emotional part of the story and the cue of ‘Rue’s Farewell’ from James Newton Howard’s first score makes it quite difficult not to well-up if you ever cared for District 11’s young tribute. Changes to the text are also hits right to the soul: “She was too gentle.” And it’s our first true and devestating introduction to the suffocating presence and brutality of the Capitol in the Districts as the Peacekeepers strike open their batons in unison while the music reaches a cresendo. Throughout the entire film this is the moment when the rebellion felt not only closest at hand but when it felt most necessary. Stirring stuff and crafted with such perfection.
Carla: I think this was the one part of the movie which made me legitimately misty-eyed. The pain in Rue’s mother’s eyes went straight to my heart.
Tash: Like Carla this was the one part of the film where I got a little teary eyed. It was so emotionally powerful as Katniss delivered her speech, then you are pulled in a different direction emotionally as the Peacekeepers grab the old man.
The tree scene at the end of the arena
Sarah: This scene was just PERFECT. Its the moment I was most excited to see come to life, because its the bit that confused me the most in the book! Seeing it brought to life really cleared up a lot of my confusion about where on earth everyone disappeared to. I loved how they so accurately showed the pain of Peeta and Katniss’ involuntary seperation. Josh’s acting here was just amazing, showing the confusion, reluctancy and pain at their seperation (which we know is the one thing he regrets the most from Mockingjay). That was probably my favourite part of this scene, and was definitely the most powerful. The use of the tracking shot and the lingering glaces killed me, and my heart just broke when she said, “I’ll see you at midnight”, because of course she’ll never see the Peeta we know and love ever again. They managed to portray the sheer craziness of the last minutes in the arena in a very believeable way, which took some doing (props to Francis once again, you blew me away!). The foreshadowing for the next movie was beautifully done, and the last moments in the arena with Katniss ready to shoot Finnick, with Snow cheering her on I was on the edge of my seat! Another beautiful moment was the slow motion shots of the explosions around a very still, lifeless Katniss once she blows up the forcefield. The claw pick-up was great too, with Katniss spreading her arms in the shape of the Mockingjay she will become in the next movie. Just such a powerful and moving ending to what was an amazing film… I just can’t watch it enough times!
Carla: If the beach scene killed me, this one was the final nail in my coffin. Death by Katniss/Peeta feels, that sounds about right!
Tash: When Katniss said “see you at midnight” I felt like I had been hit by a tonne of bricks. Add to that the looks between the pair of them and I was in the death by Katniss/Peeta feels camp too!
Carla: The main reason why I love the reaping scene can be summed up in three words: Effie, Effie, Effie. Elizabeth Banks killed me a little in this scene. The way she was still trying to put on the “show” as the Capitol’s escort, but it was a subdued version of her usual spiel, because she was in pain, too, at having to send two of these people she’s grown to love back to the arena. She’s not uppity about what she has to do; being reaped is clearly no longer an “honor” in her mind– even though she’s still forced by her job to play it like it is, she knows better now, she knows she will likely not see them again, and it hurts her that she’s basically sending them to their death. Elizabeth plays this moment so beautifully. But apart from that, there are many other details that kept building up my already-large pile of emotional pain through this scene. The way they’re led to the podium by an escort of Peacekeepers, for one: it leaves no question (both for us and for the inhabitants of District Twelve) that they are indeed being punished. There’s a very death-row feel to that part of the scene. The few peeks we sneak at Gale in the crowd, he looks like he’s in such pain and blaming himself for not having run away with Katniss before. The way Effie almost sighs before saying Haymitch’s name, like she knows, and dreads, how things are going to play out. Peeta standing his ground when Haymitch tries to stop him from volunteering; he’s looking Haymitch straight in the eye, no longer mentor-mentee but instead man to man, equals, so that Peeta can demand from Haymitch that he respect his decision, even if his decision is to go into the arena and die for Katniss. The fact that Mrs. Everdeen is the one who initiates the salute, which for me was unexpected but appreciated, and the way Gale raises his hand more slowly, which I took to mean that even if they’re taking Katniss away from him again, even though he already once had to go through the pain of watching her go through the Games and become a different person, he will still support her. How Peeta raises his hand before Katniss does, once again showing us a bit of that rebellious, even angry side that rounds up the character so well. The emptiness in Katniss’ eyes as she raises her own hand. And Prim’s parting expression, so stunned and hollow at the thought that she may never get to talk to her beloved sister again. This scene was haunting and heartbreaking from beginning to end. Bravo!
Sarah: I agree with Carla, any Effie scene and I’m sold! My fav part was Effie saying ‘Now for the men’ instead of ‘now for the boys’. Shows the huge departure from the first reaping.
Camille: This scene is one of my favourite scenes from the movie. I loved all the movie but this scene is particularly intense. I think the acting in this scene is incredible. Katniss’ pain and Finnick’s pain look so strong that I was almost in pain with them as well. Peeta’s concern is also very intense and we can see how much he cares for Katniss and that he would give everything to make her feel better. I hold my chair, with all my muscles tensed because of how strong the whole scene was. Prim’s voice also sounds in so much pain that I almost wanted to run with Katniss in the jungle to find her. The whole scene is very true to the book, and it’s almost exactly how I pictured it when I read it. The music also brings you even further into the intensity of the scene. All of those reasons make this scene one of my favourite of the movie.
Carla: This is my favorite scene from the books, and I couldn’t be happier at how tense and emotional it came across. The way Peeta leans against the force field as if trying to be as close to Katniss as possible even though they’re physically separated, it kills me.
Tash: Another moment ripped straight out of the book, it was exactly as awful for Katniss and Finnick as I had imagined. The CGI and the sound effect of those birds were just terrific and I Sam nailed the traumatised-vacant look and “I’m okay” afterwards.
The monkey mutts
Cory: Katniss looks up after talking to Finnick about Mags’ death, and you know exactly whats about to happen. She draws an arrow and Finnick grabs his trident. Any mistrust they had before seems to vanish as an army of Monkey Mutations (mutts) appear. Everything is still. Suddenly the monkeys burst out into screams and completely trap Katniss, Finnick, and Peeta in a small pool! This scene was scary and created a new fear of monkeys for me! The monkeys were created to look like Mandrill Baboons, which in my opinion, is terrifying! Arrows and blades stab and slash through each monkey who attacks to kill. I think this is really when the tributes begin to trust one another, protecting each other against the dangers of the jungle. After ten or so monkeys are killed, one jumps on Katniss and knocks her straight into the shallow pool. Oh gosh Im sweating now! The mutts teeth are inches away from her neck, when Peeta’s danger finishes it off. He pulls Katniss up and they make a run for it. Katniss’s first concern is Peeta’s protection, so Finnick is left to deal with the monkeys. You can’t help but to bite your nails as the tributes try to make their way to the beach, hopefully leaving behind the rabid monkeys. Katniss is knocked over by a mutt and Peeta comes face to face with one of the them. The female morphling jumps out of the vines she was using to conceal herself and takes the mutts teeth right into her neck. At first she startled me, I was so caught up in the fight, I had forgotten her. After they make it to the beach, now carrying a dying tribute, the monkeys seem to be unable to follow, because they left the three to four o’clock sector. Finnick, still in his fighting mode keeps his trident raised as the monkeys literally bark at him. It over, I can breath! And now I can cry as the morphling is gasping for breath…Peeta calms her down in the perfect way, talking about the colors of the sky. It could not have been said any better. Its over and my muscle relax. This scene standout to me because the monkey’s felt so real and threatening. The actors did a perfect job, as usual! This scene was better then I expected and imagined it! If im ever in that jungle arena, you wont find me in that sectorin, ill be chillin’ on the beach!
Carla: I’m in awe of this whole scene, but particularly that part where Katniss is underwater. I wanted this scene to be amazing, but now I think amazing doesn’t even begin to cover it. Mind blown!
Tash: Ditto to Carla – it was just as amazing if not better than the book!
Natalie: This scene is heart wrenching on the page but on screen it was just like so many others throughout the movie and blew my mind that Gale is saving Sae from the wrath of new Head peackeeper Thread by tackling him. The courage to do that in such a world. To just act without caution. I love that it comes after the Katniss trying to get him to run away so they are safe and we see what can happen instantaneously Katniss is the Mockingjay here in that she is standing up for what she believes. To then be joined by Peeta and Haymitch who diffuses it so brilliantly. Then scene with Snow and Heavensbee is another amazing moment!. To watch it play out it showed us that in the world of Panem NOBODY is safe, everybody is expendable/replaceable if you no longer suit your purpose.
Carla: I tip my hat off to Patrick St. Esprit as Head Peacekeeper Thread. The man was terrifying! Gave me chills.
Tash: Patrick St. Esprit is another indicator of just how good the casting is, he embodied Thread so perfectly and truly brought home the barbaric nature of The Capitol.