Time for another installment of Through the Pages! Join in as we breakdown Mockingjay before the arrival of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 with our predictions on what will make it to the big screen and what will be left behind on the cutting room floor. Don’t forget to comment with your own predictions so that we can come back and examine who got what right or wrong!
Spoiler warning! Through the Pages involves a lot of book discussion, so if you haven’t yet read Mockingjay then proceed with caution. Or, better yet, go read the book and come back and join in!
Following Coin’s announcement and Katniss’ realisation that she is now a new piece in yet another “power players” games, preparations for Mockingjay propos begin in earnest. First, the fragile prep team members remake Katniss to “beauty base zero” before joining her for a meal in the dining hall, where Octavia shares a touching moment with Gale’s sister, Posy. Then it’s off to see Beetee down at the Special Defence level, who is still recovering from the effects of his Quarter Quell injuries. Here he introduces Gale and Katniss to an array of deadly weaponry, including new bows, before presenting Katniss with a custom bow. Finally it comes time to start filming the propos, where Katniss fails to convincingly deliver the scripted line as a familiar voice chuckles over the intercom.
I really hope they cast a little Posy to deliver her line about being pretty in any color, a line that I hope is said to Effie instead of Octavia. We’ve talked a bit on the podcast about how we really want to see Effie in the prep team’s position rather than just materializing out of nowhere in Mockingjay Part 2 and this is where I think many of us want to see Effie’s struggle. I’d love to see Katniss and Gale fighting, since the two of them make great hotheads, only to see them quickly get over it to show how effortless their friendship is at times.
With Beetee, I’m unsure whether they’ll have him in a wheelchair, as I think it could go either way. Their trip into Special Weaponry is so important for the setup of Mockingjay Part 2 that I feel like they have to hit certain key points without question, such as Gale’s clear willingness to kill people. I think they might condense the snare conversation into the later scene when Gale talks about his trap, but put it in Mockingjay 2 in case they think it’s too early and the audience will forget. I hope they switch around what the phrase, “Good night,” does for the bow as I feel like that has some good movie potential done a different way.
They have to keep Haymitch’s line basically the same, because in my head, Woody delivers that perfectly.
Lines I hope make it:
“It’s meant to be pretty.” –Octavia, but I hope they give this to Effie.
“I think you’d be pretty in any color.” –Posy
“Wouldn’t be using it on a deer, would I?” –Gale
“And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.” –Haymitch
Whilst I don’t think a lot of time will be spent with the prep team, and it doesn’t need to be, I hope that the scene in the dining hall does make it as it’s a great way of demonstrating that even though the Capitol citizens are for the most part seen as the “haves” they are ultimately human, just like the “have nots”. I also think it becomes even more important if Effie is part of the group. I’m not sure Posy will be in the film but I’d like to see the “you’d be pretty in any colour” line in some fashion. The part of this chapter I’m most looking forward to seeing on screen is Beetee and Special Defence. This is where we first get a glimpse into Beetee and Gale working together, which of course has huge ramifications later on, and is also another way of demonstrating the shifts in Katniss’ relationship with Gale.
I love Beetee’s remark that Katniss doesn’t “kill for sport” and I hope that this makes it in, although without much of the “nobody decent wins the games” conversation making it into ‘Catching Fire’ I’m reluctant to get my hopes up. I do think though that the line about finding the vulnerabilities of prey is important, especially the way it foreshadows what is to come. Jeffrey Wright was fantastic as Beetee in ‘Catching Fire’ and ‘Mockingjay’ will give him even more moments to shine. As I mentioned before this chapter foreshadows how Katniss and Gale’s relationship will change, so her remark about the deer needs to be on screen along with some perfect editingto depict the hi-tech crossbow in his hands (and from the stills we’ve seen, it looks absolutely lethal!) as she speaks. Thankfully ‘The Hunger Games’ introduced a deer, so this wouldn’t be foreign to viewers. I expect that the explanation about Katniss’ bow will be streamlined, but still most likely be explained by Beetee before she has cause to use it.
Finally, the propos begin and we do see how Katniss is treated as a pawn yet again, only by a new player. Cue more brilliant machinations from the master puppeteer Plutarch, but it’s here that I think we’ll also start to see Natalie Dormer shine as Cressida (I’m pretty sure the Fulvia Cardew role, and any of her ‘qualities’, has been cut). Finnick’s line has to make it because it’s just so iconic and of course there’s the re-introduction to Haymitch, which will set off all kinds of fireworks..
Lines I hope make it:
“I think you’d be pretty in any colour.” – Posy (Any variant of this quote, by any character)
“You’re not one to kill for sport.” – Beetee
“Thinking like your prey…that’s where you find their vulnerabilities.” – Beetee
“That doesn’t seem very fair to the deer.” – Katniss
“They’ll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.” – Finnick
Although we cannot get into Katniss’ head, I really hope we’ll get to feel that she is once again being used as a puppet for the cameras. I don’t think it’s important to spend much time on Katniss’ prep team. It would be great to see the cafeteria scene, though, and even if Posy isn’t (I’m not sure if she was cast?) in the movie, I’d love to hear her line to Octavia. I’m not sure the whole conversation with Gale’s “attempt at smoothing things over” will be there, but I hope to go see them together getting their new weapons, probably excluding some small details like the voice recognition of Katniss’ bow. The not-so-good first propo will surely make the cut, and I can’t wait to hear Haymitch’s reaction to it. Well, that was short! It’s actually hard to predict how it will translate from the book to script, because it really depends on the filmmakers’ vision!
Lines I hope make it:
“I think you’d be pretty in any color.” -Posy
“They’ll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.” -Finnick (although I doubt it)
“People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!” -Katniss
“And that, my friends, is how a revolution dies.” -Haymitch
Lines I hope make it to the film:
“People of Panem, we fight, we dare, we end our hunger for justice!” – Katniss Everdeen as The Mockingjay. Such a cheesy line but I love watching Jennifer showcase her skills as an actress. Really would love to see her act as a bad actress.