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!
Katniss is distraught after hearing Gale volunteered to go rescue Peeta, fearing she might lose them both. Haymitch offers her sedation to help her get through it, but she wants to go with the rescue squad, which is impossible as they have already left; she’s too valuable to the rebellion and not deemed stable enough. Haymitch then suggests that they can get some footage of D13 to air in the lead-up to the rescue, as a distraction.
They film Q&A sessions, with Katniss describing how she met Peeta, how he gave her the bread that saved her life, and how hard it’s been for her to know that he was captured and could be killed. She tells the camera how thinking of what he might be put through gives her the strength to declare herself free of the Capitol. She points out that the Capitol is fragile because it depends on the districts to survive, so if the districts declare their independence, the Capitol will collapse.
Finnick also does an interview, where he confesses that President Snow used to sell his body for money (as well as some other Victors’), with the leverage that if they refused to do it, he would kill someone they loved. It was through these circumstances that Finnick came to know a long list of the Capitol elite’s best-kept secrets, and reveals them to the camera. He also reveals that President Snow himself only got to his position by poisoning his competition, even drinking the poison himself to deflect suspicion; this is why his breath smells of blood, and why he wears roses with a strong fragrance: to cover up that smell. After Finnick is done, Katniss asks Haymitch if the same happened to him. Haymitch explains that Snow killed his family and his girlfriend early on for his behavior in the arena, and had no one left to use against him until Peeta and Katniss came along.
As the rescue mission goes on, Katniss and Finnick tie and untie ropes to pass the time and calm their nerves. Once the rescue squad is back, Katniss has to lead Finnick, who seems to be in shock. They see Johanna, looking badly hurt, and Gale, who seems to have been shot. Annie rushes to Finnick and they cling to each other, their love obvious. Boggs points out where Peeta is and Katniss, giddy at having him back, rushes there. Peeta is awake, but disoriented, and when he sees her, Katniss rushes in to hug him, but instead he grabs her by the throat and starts strangling her.
*cringe* Before I say anything, can I just point out how painful it is to re-read this chapter? Because it is. Every. Single. Time. Anyway, this entire chapter is crucial, and I’m fairly sure it’ll be included almost in its entirety in the movie. We know from the trailer that Katniss will speak directly to Snow at some point of the movie, and we’ve been speculating that it may be part of their “distraction tactics” during the rescue. I can imagine that her “declaration of independence” in this chapter could work very well as a direct reaction of her conversation with Snow; also Snow’s words would work as a quick-turnout element of foreshadowing, since Peeta, one of the persons she loves most, will literally be hurting her by the end of the rescue sequence (Sob!).
Finnick’s interview has to be included, although I don’t know what level of detail they’ll go into given the rating (I’m not sure where sex slavery falls into when it comes to MPAA standards), but they definitely have to at least suggest it– and I absolutely cannot wait to see Sam Claflin in this scene; he is going to kill it. I don’t think there’ll be a mention of Haymitch’s games, since we didn’t get to see them in Catching Fire, but I would like to see them mention that Snow had no one to use against him until Katniss and Peeta (I’m a sucker for team Twelve).
The second half of the chapter, which is the rescue, will go by very quickly. Since most of it comes in the form of Katniss’ internal monologue, I think they’ll let the actions speak for themselves. I think the conversation between Finnick and Katniss, with the “she crept up on me” line will make it in (since it’s so brief anyway), and I think they’ll have a little bit of the two of them tying ropes. Then they’ll get the news and they’ll both rush to find their loved ones, without much dialogue. It’ll all be in the expression of their faces, maybe Katniss uttering Peeta’s name a couple times like she has in the past (remember the force field in Catching Fire?). And when Katniss finally sees Peeta and he sees her, Jen and Josh’s expressions will be all we need. Maybe a shot of them reaching out for each other… and then a brief moment of Peeta’s expression hardening. His hands around her neck. Aaaaaand then we all die. D’=
PS: I don’t think the movie will end exactly here. I think they’ll give an explanation for Peeta’s behavior and then it’ll end.
Lines I hope make it: I HAVE SO MANY THIS TIME AROUND. Let’s see…
Finnick: “If you refuse, he kills someone you love. So you do it.”
Haymitch: “He had no leverage against me.” / Katniss: “Until Peeta and I came along.”
Katniss: “Did you love Annie right away, Finnick?” / Finnick: “No. She crept up on me.”
I honestly can’t even believe how much emotion is stuffed into this one chapter. Re-reading it left me with so many things to think about that I’m not sure if I can work it all out in my head. I do think that we’re at the chapter just before the split in the films. Funnily enough, Lionsgate just recently tweeted an image of Cressida with the line, “If we declare our freedom, the Capitol collapses.” and that line is from this very chapter.
We’ve already seen in the trailers that it’s possible that Katniss talks to Snow (it could end up getting cut) and we discussed on the Airtime Assault that it’s possible Katniss is doing this as part of the distraction. I don’t know if this means Finnick’s story got cut or moved to another part of the movie, but I feel like it has to be revealed what’s happened to him. I don’t feel like it would put the rating at risk, so I think it will make it. Like Carla, I can’t wait to see Sam Claflin do this scene as it’s so different from the Finnick he had to portray in Catching Fire and brings so much depth to Finnick as a character. Katniss herself can’t even believe what’s happened to him.
That, however, takes a close second to the doorway this opens for Katniss to ask Haymitch about what happened to him, which is what I’m looking forward to more. Since how Haymitch won is not covered in Catching Fire, I’m sure they’ll come up with some other explanation. Either that or they’ll finally put it in here, just in conversation. While I do want to hear Katniss recount the bread story, I hope they don’t flash back to THG.
Re-reading the hospital scene, you really can just picture it all happening word for word, page by page. I hope they change very little and I can’t wait to see our first glimpse at Annie and Finnick together. I don’t really have a prediction for Peeta and Katniss’ reunion, I’d rather just see Francis’ take on it. I don’t think the movie will end here, rather in Chapter 13.
Lines I hope make it:
I wasn’t the only one, but I was the most popular. And perhaps the most defenseless, because the people I loved were so defenseless. –Finnick
If they’re not out of there by now, they’re all dead. –Beetee
No. She crept up on me. –Finnick
This chapter begins with Katniss envisioning Peeta or Gale, as she is”standing over their [dead] bodies, having a last look, leaving the room where they lie.” It is so uncomfortable and disturbing in its bluntness that I hope it makes it into the movie. Picturing Peeta or Gale dead would really force the audience to try to swallow the impossible.
The moment where Katniss and Finnick discuss how the rescue will end their misery either way, saving Annie and Peeta, or having them die so they can escape the emotional limbo, just might be the shot we got of Finnick from the trailer.
I really think the moment Katniss opens up about her memories of Peeta could easily be my favorite moment in the movie. I really would like it if they tied MJP1 to The Hunger games so it would take us back to the innocent version of Katniss and Peeta before all of the chaos. I want to see the scene of Katniss in the rain again with Peeta tossing her the bread.
It will be interesting to see how they handle this sequence because it also is a huge moment for Finnick too, as he opens up about being sexually exploited in the Capitol. Truthfully, on film it may be a hard moment to tackle because it invites so many story arc curves and questions that are so non-linear. It’s just an eruption of the past–albeit it gives us a more clear hatred for the Capitol as it is unraveled.
At some point Beetee explains to Katniss how the plan workes, and I wonder how they will handle that. Possibly this will be a way Beetee can narrate the rescue sequence in real time? But we get “a power failure, the detonation of a bomb in a government building” which is a chance to add even more action to the rescue to show just exactly how elaborate the plan was, all for the sake of the Mockingjay’s request.
Again, the chaos of this chapter unfolds with so many emotions fighting for the spotlight. Annie and Finnick are reunited while Katniss finds Gale is still alive, and she moves on to Peeta as every color on the emotional spectrum is touched. The last color on the spectrum has to be black. Or more like black-out. I always thought this part in the book was not only emotionally painful, but also embarrassing. Picturing Katniss running for a hug and then getting choked is almost awkward, so I know they will handle this slightly differently. Once this happens, I really believe we will feel the last bit of Katniss’ world swing off the hinge.
Lines I hope make it:
“Don’t you see, Katniss, this will decide things. One way or the other. By the end of the day, they’ll either be dead or with us. It’s . . . it’s more than we could hope for!” -Finnick
Before I get to what I think will make it to the movie, I’d just like to take a moment to recognize what an emotional, well-written chapter Suzanne Collins crafted. It’s during re-reads that I am able to fully appreciate how she crafts cliff hangers and can express the range of emotions for her characters.
I’m hoping that quite a bit of this chapter makes it to the film. The moment when Katniss realizes how the Capitol had no leverage over Haymitch until she and Peeta came along. Haymitch’s admission that his family and girlfriend were killed a mere 2 weeks after his win. Finnick’s crazy philosophy that the rescue mission means they will come back either dead or alive but it will at least mean a resolution. Katniss’s funny internal comment about how Beetee’s electricity trap in the arena didn’t really work out. That said, I’m not confident these will be retained. I think this chapter will be trimmed down to allow for a longer scene of Finnick’s interview and the ultimate cliffhanger – why does Peeta want to kill Katniss.
I think the scene with Finnick will go a long way to exposing how deeply, morally corrupt the Capitol is and offer an opportunity to give backstory on Snow. The producers love adding more scenes with Snow, so I would imagine they would try to include Snow’s backstory of his rise to political prominence. I also would love to see a long scene of Sam Claflin giving Finnick’s soul-wrenching past.
The final scene of Peeta strangling Katniss would be a great way to end the film and keep non-book readers interested. I can’t wait to see this scene, as it is so intense and different from the relationship we’ve already seen between Peeta and Katniss. A challenge for both Jennifer and Josh but I think they will be great in the scene.
Lines I hope make it:
Katniss: “Today I might lose both of them.”
Katniss: “Until Peeta and I came along.”
Beetee: “And see how well that worked out?” Katniss: “Well… not really.”