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!
As time ticks by in the bunker of 13, Katniss mulls over what it will take to “break her”. To help pass the long hours she begins to play ‘Crazy Cat’ with Buttercup, which becomes a source of entertainment for other residents every evening. It’s during one of these sessions that she likens herself to Buttercup, where instead of the laser for her Peeta is the unattainable.
This drives Katniss to find Finnick, who confirms Annie is also being held towards the same purpose. Finnick also reveals that the Quarter Quell arena was where he discovered that Katniss did indeed love Peeta and that he had misjudged her initially. He then also imparts the advice that it “takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart” and loans Katniss his rope to keep her distracted.
By morning it is finally safe to leave the bunker and Boggs pulls Katniss, Finnick and Gale aside to head to Command. As Coin decrees that they must head to the surface to create new footage we’re treated to a brief warm moment between Katniss and Finnick as he offers her sugar cubes for her coffee. The surface contains several craters, none of which caused serious damage, and Boggs confirms that Peeta’s warning did indeed save lives.
As the group approach the Justice Building Katniss finds another of Snow’s disturbing messages – pink and red roses strewn across the ground. This last reminder is the straw that finally breaks Katniss, as she realises the propo’s will result in more torture for Peeta. Haymitch provides some comfort before she is sedated and returned to 13. When she wakes a reluctant Haymitch informs her about a rescue mission for Peeta and Annie, though Katniss is distraught to discover Gale has volunteered.
I should make one thing clear before I proceed: chapter 11 is my favorite chapter in the entire book, and if it were up to me it would be included in the movie verbatim. Do I think it will be? No, but there are some crucial moments, not only plot-wise but characterization-wise, that I truly believe should not be left out.
The Crazy Cat scene we know has been filmed, though I don’t expect it to be much more than a few moments of Buttercup chasing the light, getting people’s attention, and then a shot at Katniss’ distraught expression. Then Katniss’ conversation with Finnick is a must, because they already set up the moment Finnick realizes Katniss’ feelings in Catching Fire, although I think it likely that it’ll be shortened. The line about putting yourself back together will be there, maybe paraphrased, but it’ll be included because it practically carries the whole message of the book.
I don’t expect the lead-up to the propo filming to be included, but Snow’s roses will be there, for the creep factor and the psychological implications– that is what pushes Katniss past breaking. And then there’s the propo filming itself, which I’m sure will be included fully because that’s what leads up to Coin deciding to allow the squad to rescue Peeta. And allow me to fangirl for a second here because oh God, I get chills just imagining how this scene will turn out; Jennifer will break our hearts, I’m sure of it. I can see Gale and Finnick, maybe even Cressida, moving in to do something but halting in their steps, until Haymitch steps up to console her– they also set that up very well in Catching Fire.
I can’t decide if I believe they’ll include Katniss in the rescue or not. Set pictures seemed to suggest it, but most of the time I tend to think they won’t, simply because it’ll be hard to successfully move Katniss from hysterical victim to determined soldier in the span of one scene. If they do, they may have to skip the sedation and thus not include the scene with her and Haymitch after she wakes up. If they keep her in Thirteen while Peeta’s being rescued, though, that scene will be in, because they need it for exposition. It’ll be short, probably a bit more straight to the point: they’re getting Peeta out so that Katniss can perform. Boggs is leading. Volunteers only. Katniss whispering Gale’s name as she figures it out, and then cut to the rescue scenes. It could go either way, and although I would rather see it happen as it did in the book, I’m very curious to see how they pull off the switch.
Lines I hope make it: Finnick: “It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”
Haymitch: “You know who else, Katniss. You know who stepped up first.”
I can’t help but picture the scene of Crazy Cat from Effie’s perspective. I know the D13 people are hard up for entertainment, which must be unimaginable for Effie to comprehend. This would be the perfect moment for one of her classic “Effie Comment’s” in line with, “That is mahogany,” and “Ooh, curtains!”
I’m really excited about Katniss sneaking off to see Finnick. Mockingjay Part 1 hopefully will take advantage of moments where we stay grounded in our connection to Katniss. I really hope we will slow down here and see Katniss be her true self with Finnick as they discuss how President Snow is using Peeta and Annie to try and break them. Katniss get’s her knot, and Buttercup plays with it, and it does my heart good to see them bonding.
Also, there is a moment where Gale catches eyes with Katniss, and she guesses him to be jealous over the time she is spending with Finnick. I am curious as to whether they will even introduce this as an issue.
When Katniss, Gale, Finnick, Boggs, and the camera crew go above ground to film a propo of the damage, we hear from Boggs that Peeta’s warning most likely saved Gale and Prim’s lives. I really want this to be worked into dialogue and not overlooked. It will make our hearts pang with love for Peeta. They discover Snow has dropped two dozen roses for Katniss, and part of me wonders if they will up-play this and show roses everywhere.
For the propo, Katniss has to get the line out, “Thirteen’s alive and well and so am I.” But she can’t say those words. Just picturing Katniss breaking down crying on Haymitch’s shoulder makes me anticipate the ache we will feel. This moment is so important because it sets up the necessity of the Peeta Rescue.
Haymitch breaks the news to Katniss about Peeta’s rescue mission, which will give us swelling hope. And the kinetic energy will be crazy at this point. But I imagine after we find out Gale volunteered (a word that makes us cringe) it will be the perfect bait and switch to knot our guts like one of Finnick’s ropes.
I know the next chapter will be about what Katniss is doing to cling to her sanity during the rescue missions, but it’s hard to imagine them not launching straight into the rescue sequence. Hopefully, this chapter will let us settle into the heart of what Katniss feels before it launches us into the rescue.
Lines I hope make it:
All of my lines happen to be by Finnick. He was just on fire this chapter.
“That I knew I’d misjudged you. That you do love him.” -Finnick to Katniss about Peeta
“Better not give into it. It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.” – Finnick to Katniss
“Want a sugar cube?” – Finnick
I am pretty confident that the on-screen translation of the events of this chapter is going to make me cry 🙁 Where to begin! There are so many pivotal moments and little discussions that I hope it all makes it in some format. I’ll start with Finnick, who gets some really important character building moments here. His late night chat with Katniss helped cement him as one of my favourite characters as my heart shattered into a million pieces as both he and Katniss shared the quiet moment acknowledging what is happening to their respective loves. Whilst I agree that this sequence will be shortened, and as much as we love it I’m sure the rope tying may be cut, I am certain that Finnick’s line about putting yourself back together will make it. It’s such a powerful statement and would make just as much of an impact on screen as it did in the book. We’re also treated to the Crazy Cat game just before this exchange, which is vital to setting up Katniss’ and Buttercup’s return to District 12 in Part 2.
The return to Command is one of those wonderful “what the” moments of the book – they have just survived harrowing days underground waiting for the bomb that could potentially end it all and the leader’s most important aim is to get more propo footage. I’m sure this moment is thanks to Suzanne Collins’ father’s influence on her in terms of learning about conflict as it certainly reminds me of several wartime leaders. I am hoping that it is here they show a little of Coin’s perfect veneer cracking and start to drop a bit of a hint to the audience about her motivations. I also have my fingers crossed that this portion of the film gives some time to Bogg’s, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s all cut out other than Katniss finding the roses (chills!). When I spoke with Mahershala Ali at Comic Con he said we’d certainly see plenty of him and I dearly hope that he gets to state that Peeta’s warning helped to save lives.
Then there’s the propo. It seems so simple on the surface, just get out the line “13’s alive and well and so am I”, but I love that it is in this moment that it all becomes too much and Katniss breaks down. It’s a beautifully touching moment that shows she is an everyday person and I know Jennifer will bring her best and more to the screen. I also love Haymitch providing her comfort – other than Finnick they are the only two who have experienced the trauma of the games and they also both love Peeta. I always liked to think that Haymitch had a strong role in pushing for the rescue mission so I am hoping that may be an extra scene along with Coin and Plutarch. It also provides some redemption for Haymitch in terms of fulfilling his promise to protect Peeta and sets things up nicely later on when he tells Katniss not to give up on his recovery.
Which leads us to the finish of the chapter and the announcement of the rescue mission. I do hope that they stick with the book and Katniss doesn’t go along, but if they have changed it up I’m sure they will have done so in a way that will “convince me”. I don’t really want Katniss to have her reunion with Peeta in the midst of the chaos that will be the rescue, although I can see how that makes for a good cinematic sequence. Jackson reminded me of Effie and it would be kind of nice if she was around with Haymitch to wait for news of the rescue with Katniss. It’s just such a good moment of tension in the book – she has no idea whether Gale or Peeta will return (or any of the others) which makes the emotion of the return that much stronger. I can remember feeling sick in the gut the first time I read it and I want the film to evoke that level of emotion again. At any rate I’m sure the film won’t disappoint whichever way it goes!
Lines I hope make it:
Katniss: “That you what?” Finnick: “That I knew I’d misjudged you. That you do love him.”
Finnick: “It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”
Katniss: “But it did help, right?”
Haymitch: “You know who else, Katniss. You know who stepped up first.”
Although I’m looking forward to seeing Finnick and Katniss’ conversation, I’m not sure it’ll hold up well exactly like the book since they did not include her lashing out at him on the hovercraft. (I’m still sad that didn’t make it!) I do think they’ll edit it to fit what they did in Catching Fire, though, taking care to include that Finnick wasn’t sure Katniss loved Peeta until the Arena. They might also move that CF scene to Mockingjay, specifically the part Katniss recalls Finnick saying about how they’ll
I’m not sure why, but I have a feeling that they’ll be taking Katniss’ attempt at her “alive and well” propo and make it even more gut wrenching than it was in book. I don’t know how, but this just feels like a scene that could handle just a bit of tinkering to make it sadder and more tragic when Katniss figures out what’s going on with Peeta and Snow. Since we know that Effie is in D13, I’m wondering if she’ll be a part of this scene somehow. I feel like that could work really well.
Although I love it when Plutarch says, “What’s wrong with her?” I feel like they can’t necessarily give that line to PSH’s Plutarch, since his character seems much more serious than the Plutarch in the book. Book Plutarch seems clueless at some points while PSH Plutarch seems to have a very in-charge and confident commanding tone (I know, basing this off just OLTM is silly, but hey). I don’t know that they’ll have to drug her to calm her down, though. I don’t think it will be only Haymitch that Katniss wants comfort from because Effie could be there and they’re a team. In fact, Peeta’s the only one of their team missing! 🙁
This is also where I feel one of the biggest changes from the book will be because I don’t think they’ll leave Katniss behind in District 13 during the rescue mission. They could, but I’ve always felt that Suzanne Collins was cutting corners taking Katniss out of the equation. To me the rescue is a very good Part 1 climactic event.
Lines I hope make it:
It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart. –Finnick
Did you see? How weird he acted? What are they doing to him? –Katniss