While the movie is still fresh in our heads (thanks to many repeated viewings!), the staff of Mockingjay.net have put down their thoughts on some of their favourite scenes from the film.
Because none of us could possibly hope to write anything but a short novel, we have split this into two parts for you enjoy. One staff member has taken the lead on their chosen scene, but some of us have also written a line or two as well. Be sure to chime in with your thoughts in the comments! In no particular order, here we go:
(gif via samclafs @ Tumblr)
The elevator scene
Tiffany: Oh gosh, for me this scene was sexy, funny and uncomfortable all at the same time! I think that’s because it’s how I read the actors faces when Johanna decided to strip right there and then in the elevator! LOL! Ok, so it’s funny because Johanna is such a smart ass that half the stuff that comes out of her mouth makes me giggle. Not to mention Haymitch’s face and lines he has in this scene. Haymitch: (after a very naked Johanna leaves the evelvator) “Johanna Mason, District 7” Just like that, like she just left the elevator fully clothed and nothing had happened! HA! Then there is Peeta who you can tell was completely surprised by Johanna’s actions but very much enjoying it at the same time 🙂 Then we move to Katniss who was SO uncomfortable. She prob had never seen another naked womans body, besides her Mom and sister and this can get very akward in a tiny space like an elevator! Her face was priceless and I can picture it in my head as I type and it still makes me smile. This whole scene is just brilliant. Jena did an amazing job and just seemed very confident! I could watch this over and over again! Thank you also to Woody, Jennifer and Josh for making this scene just PERFECT!
Carla: Every time the script allows Katniss to pull a “Jennifer face,” I’m all up for it! Fantastic scene, I laughed so hard.
Tash: I sound like a broken record, but this was brilliant! Every actor nailed it and each time I watch it I have a stupid grin on my face.
Effie says goodbye
Erin: Out of all the scenes in Catching Fire, I’m not sure I would label Effie’s Good-bye as my absolute favorite scene, but it is definitely the scene that made the biggest impression on me after my first viewing at the theater. It’s also the only scene that brought tears to my eyes. What Elizabeth Banks and Francis Lawrence and the script did with the character of Effie Trinket was incredible. She’s silly and self-centered, self-intitled, and oblivious… but only up until the Reaping for the Quarter Quell. You can see her cheery and chipper attitude slowly start to crack, until she is sobbing in front of Katniss and Peeta, telling them how sorry she was that they were going back into the Games, that they deserved more. This scene, of course, wasn’t in the book. They never got to say good-bye to Effie. This was the best added scene out of both movies, the most moving, and gives me hope that we will see a lot of Effie in Mockingjay, that she will be the person locked up District 13, either with the prep team or in place of them.
Carla: Elizabeth completely broke me when she told them she was sorry this happened to them. Such an amazing change from congratulating them in their first Games!
The beach scene
Carla: Warning: Fangirly gushing ahead. I can’t help it, though; this scene showed me everything I wanted from Peeta and Katniss in the arena. First, that they’re a team: they may be part of an alliance but they know, even if only one of them can win the Games, it’s the two of them against the world until the very end. This comes across so well as they discuss Beetee’s plan: they express their points of view, listen to what the other has to say, and come to a decision together. But then the truly emotional part starts, when Peeta pulls off the locket, and Josh plays this moment so perfectly, I feel like I’ve been sucker punched every time I watch it. I love that he states his feelings in a way that’s not sappy or manipulative, but instead, when he tells Katniss that without her he has nothing, it’s like he’s stating a fact– because for him, that’s exactly what it is. The way he looks at her as she’s staring down at the locket is equal parts determined and sad, because he knows he’d rather she live even if it means her going back to Gale. At the same time, the way Jennifer slightly purses her lips as she looks down tells us that Katniss understands what he’s trying to say with the photos, but she can’t accept it if it means he’ll die. When she looks back up at him, she’s almost hardened, and you can see that she’s more determined than ever to get him out of there alive. And then the way Josh says “Nobody needs me,” with that beautiful, heartwrenching smile, it’s the most perfect balance of honesty and self-deprecation, and you can see that he’s not just playing the victim, this is something he’s already thought about and come to terms with– which never fails to hurt my heart. I like that there wasn’t a long pause before Katniss’ response, because I prefer the idea of her slowly coming to terms with her own feelings through the entire conversation, rather than her having an sudden epiphany. And then their kiss… I’m such a hopeless fangirl, but I love how she kisses him, and he pulls back, stares at her in wonder for about half a second, and then, understanding that this moment they’re having is genuine, it’s real, he cradles her jaw and pulls her back to him for a deeper kiss. It’s such a sweet, yet powerful kiss, too, with both of them putting all of themselves into it. My favorite part, though, is when she puts her hand on top of his as the kiss winds down: this was not one-sided. And by the time they lean their foreheads together and Johanna calls them “lovebirds,” I am nothing but a pile of bright goo on the theater seat. Such a beautiful scene, all subtlety but more than anything just pure emotion, a scene where you can see the depth of their feelings for each other through the little details, yet sweet and pure, both uplifting and tragic at the same time. And the score in the background KILLS ME. My stomach goes loopy just remembering it!
Tash: As with the train, everything I wanted and then some! They muck around like brother and sister on set but Jen and Josh were more than perfect in this moment. Carla has summed it up brilliantly!
Johanna’s Capitol tirade in the arena
Tash: Johanna was the new character I was most excited to see and Jena Malone certainly rocked it, by the time we get to this point she’s already stolen the scene numerous times. This scene stuck out for me though because it is so powerful yet so heartbreaking. Johanna has a great shell that she uses to protect herself which comes out in her remarks and I loved the addition of “you can’t put everyone in here!” after her tirade directed at Snow and The Capitol. Then as the others stare at her incredulously her veneer cracks a little and we learn more about why Johanna is the way she is, as she tells her fellow Victor’s “there’s no one left I love”. That moment crushed me in the books and it crushed me even more to hear it and see Johanna standing there. I also loved the touch of her whacking a bush with her axe as she stalks off, letting out a bit of that frustration and anger. (Plus I had a bit of an internal giggle at that as I’m prone to doing that with a club when I play mini golf!!)
Carla: My favorite part of this scene is how she even makes her WALK come across as angry. Stomping off through the jungle? Perfection!
Katniss’ interview with Caesar
Crystal: It’s not really my favorite since there are SO many great scenes from the movie I love, but when forced to pick just one, this came to mind because both times I saw the movie I cried when I saw it because seeing it come to life on screen was just overwhelming and emotional. When Katniss begins twirling and transforming, it’s almost like a point of no return for her, something that she doesn’t even choose to do because Cinna makes the decision for her. And yet Cinna knows her so well that he knows this is what she’s destined to be and what must happen. As her white dress, which can symbolize her innocence or her purity or any number of things, burns away, you get this powerful sense of change and you just know that the people of Panem feel it, too.
Carla: I love how she’s the one to make the Mockingjay connection and say it to the public. Also, not technically part of this scene but Peeta’s smirk as he drops the baby bomb– I cheered.
Katniss asks Peeta to stay (Train)
Jared: One of the quickest and most emotionally packed scenes in Catching Fire occurred on the Victory Tour train when Katniss wakes up from a night terror and Peeta rushes in to see about her. Even in his sleep, Peeta’s heart is geared towards keeping Katniss safe. Katniss constantly fights to be stronger than her enemies, but there are small moments where she allows herself to be vulnerable. In these moments, Katniss embraces her emotional desire for Peeta’s comfort and protection. When Peeta holds Katniss in his arms, her world becomes smaller and more simplistic in a beautiful way. Peeta allows Katniss to experience what being protected feels like because ever since her father died in the mines of District 12, Katniss has taken over the role as the “protector” of her family. As they lay together in the darkness of the Capitol train, there is an interesting contrast to the time Peeta held Katniss in the caves of the 74th Hunger Games arena. While in the caves, Katniss pretended to need Peeta in an attempt to save both of their lives. However, on the train we see Katniss’s heart has shifted towards Peeta. Even if she doesn’t understand how she feels about Peeta, we see in moments like this that Katniss has dug out a place for him in her heart. After Katniss asks Peeta to say with her after suffering another night terror, he responds by saying,”…always.” This word speaks of the permanence of the intimate bond Katniss and Peeta share, which has formed out of their experiences together in the games. The very thing that was created to destroy their lives has united Katniss and Peeta in a sacred friendship, which is extremely powerful and moving to behold. For me, this small moment on the train carries all the intensity of Katniss and Peeta’s relationship.
Carla: I love how he whispers “always” only after he has her in his arms, like he was trying not to say it but his feelings were so strong it just slipped out. Me = dead!
Tash: I adored this scene. Everything I wanted it to be and more, plus it was handled really well (no cheese factor!). Not to mention it included one of the most pivotal lines of the books!
Victory Tour montage
Luan: There are so many beautiful scenes in the perfect adaption but to only choose one of my favourites is a chore; but this scene is so powerful, and so heart-wrenching for even the casual viewer that I needed to tell you all why it is the underdog of the film. This montage of the Victory Tour provides everything you need to gain knowledge of the rebellions in the Districts. From District 11, (which Ciara has spoken about) where we see the gruesome and utterly heart-breaking effects of the Games of the families of the lost, and we see how the death of an innocent little girl can cause the entire District to stand up to the Capitol and say “How could you?”. The return of Rue’s Lullaby in “The Tour” from the score is a magnificent move from James Newton Howard, the music for this is fantastic; everyone around me in the cinema was crying. A lot.
We then can see how the Districts deteriorate the further on Katniss and Peeta go into Panem. We see how Haymitch tries to keep a straight face to our Victors as they see how many people actually believe that Katniss is the face of the rebellion, Haymitch knows of the rebellion and he knows what it can do; to stay normal for the sake of them shows how strong he is. I love this because it shows how right President Snow is about Panem. Don’t get me wrong, but it shows how Katniss does truly just want to save her skin; save herself and the ones she cares for so much that she conforms with the Capitol. We see this part of her change entirely with no dialogue, just a close up of her face right at the end of the film; complete character development again. The one part of this I love completely and utterly is the part when Katniss said – in an Effie style – “Panem Today. Panem Tomorrow. Panem Forever.” It’s beautifully sinister and just perfectly performed by Jennifer. The crowd screaming at Katniss to tell them “what you really think?!” proves how transparent her act is to the districts and the first sign where we can see that there is nothing that Katniss can do to save them. And not to mention the little girl who looked like Prim handing Katniss the bunch of flowers, confessing that she would volunteer one day “just like you.” Katniss is a symbol to them all, something she is not. But something she will become. That is why I love the Victory Tour montage.
Johanna’s interview with Caesar and backstage with Katniss
Hannah: It was incredibly difficult to choose just one favourite scene. However, for the purpose of this, my favourite scene is when Johanna Mason seemingly flies off the handle during her interview with Caesar, and yells a few choice words to the audience, and, consequently, the Capitol. However, those who know Johanna realise that she is a very calculating person. With this rant, not only does Johanna gain the sympathy of the audience and her potential sponsors, but she also makes it known that she is not happy with this Quarter Quell, the Gamemakers, the Capitol, and most importantly, President Snow. My love for Johanna rose to even greater heights (if that’s possible) the moment after her interview, when she tells Katniss to “Make him [Snow] pay for it”. At face value, it could be seen as Johanna telling Katniss to make Snow pay for putting Katniss in her wedding gown for her interview. However, I believe that this is a rare moment, where a weird type of vengeful bond forms between the two strong women. Johanna wants Snow to pay for everything that he’s ever done – not just this wedding dress stunt – and Katniss agrees.The moment she was cast, a lot of people had their reservations, but I knew Jena Malone would nail Johanna Mason. She made Johanna (one of my favourite characters) her own, and I absolutely loved every second of it.
Carla: I was NOT expecting the cursing, so that was fantastic and so Johanna, but bleeping it out as if it was an actual TV show was a stroke of freaking genius.
Tash: LOVED Johanna’s interview, just perfection. Then her moment with Katniss, again brilliant and sets up the framework for their friendship in Mockingjay.