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!
The District 13 squad arrives at District 8 and we get our first glimpse at Cressida, Messalla, and the two “insect cameramen.” They, along with Boggs and Gale, escort Katniss to a warehouse that’s functioning as a makeshift hospital for the wounded. They meet Commander Paylor, who shows them around. Katniss greets and interacts with the people there, and she realizes how much power she really holds in her role as the Mockingjay. Once out of the warehouse, they are warned that incoming bombers are approaching. They try to run but the bombs start falling on them before they reach safety. Haymitch and Plutarch direct them to a nearby bunker, when a second wave of bombs comes and they realize the hoverplanes are targeting the hospital. Katniss disregards orders and runs back to the hospital, with Gale following suit. They head to a roof, where Paylor is preparing to counterattack. With their bows and special arrows, they use their old hunting tactics to bring down the bombers, but it’s too late to save the hospital. Cressida reveals the Capitol aired the bombing live as a message to the rebels, and Katniss responds with a message of her own, to both the rebels and President Snow, delivering her famous “if we burn, you burn with us” line.
This is one of those chapters that I feel will be almost entirely included in the movie. We might not get, say, the minutia of the dialogue verbatim, but the broad strokes of it will be included. The Mockingjay films are at their core war films, and this is probably the best opportunity we’ll get in Part 1 to witness the rawness and pain of war. The hospital scene will definitely be included: it’s already been established that Katniss is an inspiration to the people who watched her in her Games, and this is the moment when she realizes it herself, sees it with her own eyes, and begins to own the responsibility to the people that comes with the title of the Mockingjay. Considering she initially only accepted that title as a way to save Peeta, this is a big turning point for her.
Their meeting with Paylor is also massively important, given what her role at the end of the book will be, in setting her up as a fighter who puts her people first and foremost. I really hope they will give her the necessary fleshing out, even though we only really see her in this one sequence. Other characters that can be fleshed out early on with very little effort are Cressida and her team.
The bombing and their sequence bringing down the hoverplanes will definitely make it in, as it’s one of the biggest fight sequences of the movie. I can’t wait to see the CGI in this scene. I don’t think Gale’s words about how Snow attacked the hospital because the people in there are expendable will make it in, but it would be a good opportunity to show how he “never underestimates the enemy’s cruelty,” which is something that will come up again, and in a much darker way, in District Two.
And of course, Katniss’ speech… I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep that verbatim. That’s one of the most famous and quotable moments of the entire trilogy, the kind of dialogue you want for promotional materials and trailers (*hint hint* Lionsgate), and it will definitely be a centerpiece of the first Mockingjay movie. I can’t wait to see Katniss say those words on screen!
Lines I hope make it:
“You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that? Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” –Katniss
Now, what an important and action-packed chapter! First of all, we’ll get to meet the camera crew, especially Cressida, who produces the rebels’ propos, as well as Paylor.. The visit to District 2 will be really nice on screen, since it’s a location that hasn’t been explored much in the past. I think this chapter will be very faithful to the book in the film, because I don’t see why they’d change a lot of things, really. I think we’ll see Katniss in the hospital, and will get to see how much impact she truly has. She was able to start a rebellion with berries, after all! It must be a fragile system if it can be brought down by just a few berries.
One thing that may change, though, is Haymitch’s staying back in 13. We’ve seen pictures of the Berlin set with a clear DISTRICT 2 sign, and Woody Harrelson was spotted in a Berlin set picture as well, so I’m thinking he might actually be in 2 and giving Katniss order in the centre of the action. As much as I want them to stay close to the book, I feel like that could be a good departure, because just hearing what Haymitch says may be a little cheesy (unless they switch from 2 to 13 back and forth in the scene) and Woody is an excellent actor, we need to see him!
I hope they also put some focus on Gale and Katniss working together, even if they’re disobeying orders, because it shows how much they trust each other, and how good they are together after all these years of hunting and being with each other.
I really want them to show how cruel the Capitol is, attacking these poor people in the hospital when they’re already close to death. That’s very Capitol-like.
Lines I hope make it:
“She’s here! It’s Katniss Everdeen!” -Eddy’s sister (the line could be given to anybody in the hospital)
“Fire is catching, and if we burn, you burn with us!” -Katniss (that’s a given)
Finally, after all of the tense build up and build up we get some action! Suzanne Collins has stated that her trilogy aims to cover war and its consequences, as well as the idea of a ‘necessary’ war. Chapter 7 is where we really start to see these messages fully unfold, as readers are exposed to the first time, through Katniss, just how much pain and suffering has already occurred and how the warfare has progressed to this point. As Carla noted this chapter is both a huge eye-opener and a massive turning point for Katniss – she finally comes to truly realise the power and influence she holds and how important she is to the rebellion, and that she has to see it through.
I’m certain the hospital will make it through relatively untouched, it is a powerful scene on the page and I am sure it will be even more powerful on screen. One of the best moments in ‘The Hunger Games’ for me was the emotionally charged riot in District 11 and I know that the hospital scene in District 8 will also be a tear jerker. We also finally get introduced to Paylor here (I am fairly certain Cressida will be introduced earlier) and I can’t wait to see Patina Miller’s portrayal of her. I’ve gotten my hopes up a little after the roundtable interview where they discussed just how much they wanted to focus on character, and though she may only appear a few times Commander Paylor is certainly an important character, especially for non-book readers who need to understand why she is chosen as the new leader at the end of the films.
Then of course there is the bombing and attack on the hospital, which is sure to look amazing. After seeing ‘Catching Fire’ I have no concerns about the remaining CGI elements to come. It will also be a great, tense moment alongside the action, as the crew run to safety while Haymitch and Plutarch issue instructions before Katniss climbs to the roof. After the sequence in CF with Katniss in the training room it will be awesome to see more of her fantastic archery skills on display, and it also gives Liam Hemsworth his time to finally shine in an action sequence. I think a lot of Gale’s dialogue will be altered in the aftermath, but I hope that a lot of the teamwork and absolute trust between he and Katniss will be on display. I do think there will be at least one comment from Gale regarding the enemy, as it would be a nice follow on from Gale’s line in CF about people being free to starve, whereas now they are just seen by the Capitol as damaged goods.
I’m pretty positive that Katniss’ impassioned speech will make it to the screen pretty untouched. I want to see her moving away from Gale, looking at the destruction in shock and despair, before giving way to her inner fire and anger. This is another one of those scenes where we are so lucky to have Jennifer Lawrence who can do so much with just an expression, let alone the full package of body language and speech, and I’m sure it is going to be absolutely amazing. I can’t wait to see Cressida ask Katniss if she’d like to send a message and set her up for one of the most famous and pivotal lines of the trilogy – “if we burn, you burn with us!” It’s going to be spine-chilling and terrifyingly brilliant tributes!
Lines I hope make it:
“You been trained in these?” – Paylor
“Would you like to tell the rebels anything?” – Cressida
“You can torture us and bomb us and burn our districts to the ground, but do you see that? Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” – Katniss
I can see the bulk of the start of this chapter making it in, because we’ve already heard about extras needed for a hospital scene. I think they filmed the inner warehouse stuff in Atlanta and will do the outside action scenes on the roof with Katniss and Paylor in Berlin. The part I’m most interested to see from this first half is very small, but it’s when Katniss notices Paylor watching her intently to see how tough she is. This is also where we first meet Cressida, Messalla, Castor, and Pollux, but I feel like they would have possibly been introduced back in 13 in the studio.
When Katniss goes in to talk to the wounded, I hope they alter one of her thoughts into a line to Gale or Haymitch. “I was their Mockingjay long before I accepted the role.” Since Woody is in Berlin filming, I think it’s possible that Haymitch is on the ground in 8 rather than in the hovercraft, which is what we’ve been predicting for District 2 scenes as well. However, she’d have an easier time defying his orders to stay away from the hospital if he wasn’t actually there.
The rooftop battle is the one we’ve actually seen a couple of fan films for, so it’ll be especially cool to finally see the official one. I think Katniss’ speech will be slightly altered, but that they’ll leave the final two lines alone completely. It’ll be almost magical to see what Jennifer can do with Katniss’ fury in this scene!
Lines I hope make it:
“Fire is catching! And if we burn, you burn with us!” – Katniss