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!
It seems like it has come around quick this time, and it has – during all the excitement over the sudden avalanche of goodies the last edition was a little late, so to keep us on track to finish Part 1 before the release of the other Part 1 we need to keep motoring on.
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!
Haymitch calls a meeting of various District refugees to try to pinpoint what makes Katniss compelling. After the meeting, during which Haymitch convinces Coin to let Katniss go out into the districts, Haymitch and Katniss confront each other about the fate of Peeta. They come to an understanding, then Katniss leaves to wash the layers of makeup off to leave for District 8. Boggs escorts her to the Hangar, where they meet Finnick, distressed over the fact that they won’t let him go. When Katniss distracts him by telling him of the new trident Beetee made for him, then suggests he put on some pants, Finnick gives Katniss and Boggs a free show. Katniss and her film crew then leave in a hovercraft with Plutarch Heavensbee explaining the state of the rebellion along the way. He gives her a nightlock pill in case she is captured.
The meeting to decide what they can do to make Katniss more moving as the Mockingjay is one of my favorite scenes in the entire book, and I certainly feel it should be included in the movie (albeit with many of the minor characters left out, I’m guessing) because it’s one of the few moments when we get to see outside of Katniss’ PoV and at how other people see her. It’s a connection to the audience because these people see all the good things WE see in Katniss and she can’t see for herself; it’s an opportunity to make the audience identify with what’s happening on screen that I doubt Francis and Nina will overlook. I also suspect this is where the still of Haymitch writing on a board comes from, so I feel very confident that it will be included and I can’t wait to see the finished product. I hope Effie is included! I’m sure she would have many emotional moments to contribute.
Likewise, the short dialogue between Katniss and Haymitch is majorly important, and I believe they will include it, given how much development they’ve given to their relationship in the first two movies. It’s not unusual for the two of them to be given a little convo here, a brief scene there, but moments that speak volumes about how similar they are and how much they care for each other despite the snippiness that’s always between them. In the lead-up to Katniss’ breakdown about Peeta being used against her later on, they’re going to need this scene.
Sadly, I don’t think Finnick’s scene with the pants will make it in, or if it does I doubt it’ll be humorous. Seems like the wrong moment to introduce a humorous scene, more so in the movie than in the book. I do think they’ll show how distraught Finnick is, and maybe he’ll even get the “distracting” line or some variation of it, but it’ll be meant to be painful rather than funny. Similarly, I think the conversation with Boggs in the elevator would come across as a bit of an infodump, which they normally avoid in movies. Though it would be nice if they include at least a short version of it so we can get more acquainted with Boggs.
The last part of the chapter is also a lot of infodump which I believe they’ll distill down to the bare minimum. The information on District Two can be given when they actually go to District Two. If there’s anything I’d rescue from the end of the chapter it’s the nightlock suicide pills, because they’ll need to bring those up again near the end of the book.
Lines I hope make it:
Katniss: “We’re still in the game.”
Haymitch: “Still in. And I’m still your mentor.”
There are a lot of characters thrown into the mix during this chapter: the entire prep team, Greasy Sae, someone named Leevy. My guess is they will give these people’s lines to the principal actors such as Boggs, Effie, and Plutarch just to keep the plot straight-forward and simple. With the discussion and revelation that Katniss’ best moments are “unscripted” as well as the conversation between Katniss and Boggs about why 13 hasn’t aided the other districts, there could be some potential for a lull in the movie, but maybe moments like seeing Finnick in his underwear will be enough to keep the fans of the books happy and hold their attention.
Katniss’ conversation with Haymitch, I feel, will definitely make the movie because they finally admit they are both to blame for not keeping Peeta safe.
It’s possible that from this chapter we will get a montage of all District 13 is capable of in the ways of war. After all, we have to believe the Rebellion actually has a chance of winning, so this might be when D13 flexes its muscles to so speak, showing soldiers, ships, and weapons as well as infrastructure.
It will be interesting to see what Katniss’ outfit looks like since page 78 in the book describes Katniss wearing something that sounds very much like chain-mail (“a helmet of some interwoven metal that fits close to my head…and can be drawn back like a hood…”) Katniss might be going medieval on us!
Also the conversation between Katniss and Plutarch about District 2 supplying the Capitol with weapons and even peacepeekers will have to make the cut in some shape or form because it sets the stage for the invasion of District 2 (I was gonna say invasion of The Nut but that sounds not so great…#ihopetheychangethename).
At the end of the chapter the “Nightlock pill” is introduced, but I’m not so sure if they will play this up or not. It never really came to be an item of serious consequence in the books but could provide tension and even revert our memory to The Hunger Games, re-creating the moment Katniss almost eats the Nightlock berries. But I think this is unlikely.
Lines I hope make it:
“And if we lose?”-KATNISS
“Then I would expect next year’s Hunger Games to be quite unforgettable.”-PLUTARCH
One of my favorite things in Mockingjay is the creation of “propos,” which are introduced later on in Mockingjay. The life source for the Capitol’s propaganda relies heavily on pretense and intimidation, but Haymitch proves that the people of Panem respond most powerfully to genuine acts of humanity. Katniss tends to have a pessimistic prospective about herself and life, and I can’t blame her given her life circumstances, but just like her fellow citizens, Katniss pulls her motivation and strength from sharing a moment of sincerity with the people she loves. For example, when she calms Finnick down by telling him Beetee has personally built him a new trident, Finnick finds enough peace of mind to settle back into his usual, playful self to jokingly flirt with Katniss by shucking off his medical gown and striking a pose in his underwear. This is a great example of the moments where Katniss is able to exchange a little joy with a friend where she is reminded of why she is fighting in the first place. I hope in the film we are also given time to stay emotionally grounded and connected to the characters within the chaos of everything that is happening.
Of course we know now that Effie is taking the place of Fulvia in the last films, which made me read all of Fulvia’s lines in Effie’s voice. Talk about having a new character experience! Effie in Thirteen is too brilliant not to happen, so I will be thrilled to see the stark contrast between her bubbly demeanor and the minimalistic lifestyle of D13.
Chapter 6 really gives us a defining taste for Boggs too. He becomes increasingly more likable with every turn of the page, which will make it all the more heart-wrenching to grow attached to him.
I love that the presence of Cinna lingers on throughout Mockingjay by the legacy of his carefully designed armor for Katniss. I keep thinking about how emotionally powerfully these films could be by reminding us of the presence of those lost but not forgotten. There is a huge theme in Chapter 6 of the power behind embracing the honest core of who we are, so I’m really hoping that will be translated onto the screen.
On a small side note, I can’t wait to explore District 13, from the crazy multidirectional elevators to the hovercraft hangars! It’s going to be a feast for our eyes.
Lines I hope make it:
Dalton- “Wash her face. She’s still a girl and you make her look thirty-five. Feels wrong. Like something the Capitol would do.”
Katniss -“Finnick? Maybe some pants?” Finnick- “Why? Do you find this distracting?” Katniss- “I’m only human, Odair.”
Boggs- “Well, don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.”
Plutarch- “If we lose? Then I would expect next year’s Hunger Games to be quite unforgettable.”
This chapter holds what is probably one of the most defining scenes of Part 1 and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. I am wondering if we have already been given a sneak peek of sorts via the still of Haymitch that was released. My first thought was that he was writing out all of Katniss’ inspirational moments. I expect that a few characters will be streamlined here and it is a good opportunity to introduce some of the Squad 451 members a little earlier – even if we don’t know them by name, instead of having District citizens such as Leevy and Dalton it would be good to give their lines to say a Leeg, Holmes etc, or Effie of course! The roundtable interview mentioned a warmth and depth to Coin and I think we will get more of a look at that here as she gives the directive for Katniss to head to District 8. That interview also included some tidbits about Effie, including the one about her joining the rebellion effort for “personal reasons” and I am sure this is where that will become evident.
The other pivotal moment here is the brief but emotionally charged discussion between Haymitch and Katniss. Woody and Jennifer have done such a terrific job so far and I can’t wait to see where they take their respective characters in ‘Mockingjay’. I believe here is also another point where both of them find some resolve to ‘get the job done’ by continuing the game as Haymitch voices what they are both thinking – Peeta isn’t dead and they shouldn’t give up on him (hello more foreshadowing!).
Whilst I dearly hope that Finnick in his underwear makes it to the screen intact, I am fully prepared for that moment to have been shifted, altered or excluded. I can see Finnick with tussled hair and in a robe of some sort, but I’m not sure that the provocative pose will make it. I do hope that it makes it though so we can see how Bogg’s earns Katniss’ trust, although if it’s excluded I’m sure they will still devote plenty of time to ensure Bogg’s is just as important to the audience as he is to Katniss, just with less of the inane chatter. Here is where they should let the visuals do the talking, and I like Jackson’s suggestion of the show of power – as they walk towards one of many hovercrafts we should get to really see District 13’s war machine in motion.
Finally there’s the trip to District 8 and while it isn’t necessarily the most exciting part it does allow for plenty of interesting information to be provided, including where Peacekeepers (and by extension the Capital’s army) are sourced from, but more importantly it’s where we learn the plan for the rebellion. Hearing Plutarch explain the “grand plan” would be thrilling, as would the exchange between he and Katniss when she poses the question “and if we lose?”
Lines I hope make it:
“They were Katniss’s, no one told her what to do or say.” – Gale
“I can’t believe you didn’t rescue Peeta.” – Katniss
“I can’t believe you let him out of your sight that night.” – Haymitch
“He’s not dead yet, Katniss.” – Haymitch
“And if we lose?” – Katniss
This is such a great chapter and it feels like we’ve already gotten a still from this with last week’s Mockingjay release! One of my favorite parts is when Katniss says that for a second, she’s afraid Haymitch is dying. It’s such a great way to show how much Katniss cares, if only the walls she’s put up around herself would let her show it. And, funnily enough, this is the chapter where our reader Lisa pointed out that Boggs has a little boy, something I totally missed!
The conversation going on in the meeting itself isn’t very stuffed, so I don’t see why most of it can’t make it into the film. I really hope they keep Haymitch and Katniss’ solo confrontation where they make amends very bluntly, yet with stifled emotion. It’s a great way to showcase their relationship.
As for Finnick, they have to know that if they don’t include the Boggs underwear line that there will be fan riots, though I don’t think I put anything into my last chapter guesses as to how they’d explain Finnick’s state of mind. Hopefully they fit it in somewhere, if not with Finnick, with mention of him. When they get to the hovercraft, I can just hear Carla’s heart fluttering when Cressida (instead of Fulvia) yanks Gale over in his uniform to talk about how handsome he is. And then, of course, must come Boggs’ line.
I see the events in the chapter continuing to play out, including Plutarch’s explanation of Peacekeepers and the status of the rebellion. Finally, the introduction of the nightlock, though this might come later when they go to rescue Peeta.
By the way, it just popped into my head that Clancy Brown would have made a great Boggs as well!
Lines I hope make it:
“Oh, yeah. Drugs Peeta to save his life. Very nice.” — Haymitch (tell me you can’t hear this in Woody’s voice in your head!)
“Wash her face. She’s still a girl and you made her look thirty-five. Feels wrong.” — Dalton (though this will likely go to someone else like Gale)
“Finnick? Maybe some pants?” –Katniss
“Why? Do you find this–distracting?” –Finnick
“Well, don’t expect us to be too impressed. We just saw Finnick Odair in his underwear.” –Boggs
I think we’ll get to see quite a bit from this chapter. The update on the war and education on District 2 given during the ride to District 8 set up quite a few things for the rest of the plot. It’s also a fast way for filmmakers to update educate the audience on important plot points. The scene between Katniss and Haymitch, where they are both accepting and giving blame, gives the audience insight to the guilt and anger each feels towards each other and themselves. So much of this stage in the story is driven by emotion, it would be a shame to lose this exchange. Also, how great would it be to see this emotional confrontation between Jennifer and Woody?