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!
Chapter 8 opens with Katniss and the others making a hasty exit from District 8 following the hovercraft attack and bombing of the hospital. As Katniss has suffered quite a few wounds she finds herself waking in the District 13 hospital, where Mrs Everdeen is checking her vital signs. Then it’s off to Command, where Katniss receives a warm welcome from the camera crew and discovers that Pollux is an avox, before others arrive to break down the events in D8. Plutarch and co have been busy during this time, revealing that they have already aired the first Airtime Assault propo 18 times. Following the replay Katniss discovers Coin doesn’t know she disobeyed orders in D8, and is quick to agree that she is fine in a combat situation. Cressida then discusses plans for future propo’s, including Fulvia’s idea of a ‘We Remember’ series to salute fallen tributes.
After Command Katniss returns to her hospital bed and wakes several hours later to find Haymitch waiting for her. He threatens Katniss with other communication options if she takes her ear piece out again, before revealing he ate her lunch and stalking off. In the evening Katniss is joined by Finnick, who has been spending most of his time in the hospital. It’s during this time that the Capitol air another interview with Peeta, and Katniss gets her first glimpse at what the Capitol has done to the boy with the bread. Peeta asks Katniss if she knows who she can trust and implores her to find out what is really happening. As Finnick hears the footsteps of Plutarch approaching he urges Katniss to conceal the fact that they saw it.
As much as I said the previous chapter would have to be included verbatim, I think very little of this chapter will make the cut. I love the short conversation between Katniss and her mother, but I think that from last chapter, they will skip straight away to Command. Most likely there will be some mention of Katniss and Gale disregarding orders but it will be handwaved by Plutarch and/or Cressida. Maybe a glimpse of Coin and Gale talking. Then they’ll show the propo, and although I would love to see Toby Jones in our movies again, I hope they don’t include Claudius Templesmith’s voice, that made it sound a little cheesy in my head. Just the flaming mockingjay pin and Katniss’ epic speech is more than enough.
(On a side note, I think this is one of the few chapters in Mockingjay that actually drew a hearty laugh out of me, namely Katniss applauding and then realizing she’s applauding for her own performance and how obnoxious that is. Her inner monologue there was hilarious, I’m sad that we don’t get to see it in the movie).
I am very torn on whether or not Haymitch’s conversation with Katniss about the earpiece will make it in. Some days I think it will, some days I think it won’t. I just know that I hope to God it will, because it’s my favorite Haymitch moment ever, and we do need some non-jokey laughter to balance out the general angst and misery of the Mockingjay plot.
And then of course, Peeta’s second propo has to be included. It’s not much in the way of content, not like the first one, but it goes to show his well-being deteriorating, and his words drive further the point that he may be in league with the Capitol, which I think the movie will try to push for the “shock” factor later on. I also hope Finnick’s warning not to mention that they saw Peeta makes it in; I think they’ll want to highlight the fact that even though the Victors are working with D13, that doesn’t mean they trust them, and the Quell alliance is still intact.
Lines I hope make it: “Ask yourself, do you really trust the people you’re working with?” -Peeta.
Even though I believe this chapter has a lot of important information, I feel like it will be spread out over the film. There is an important foreshadowing with the bombings of District 8 where Katniss mentions medics from District 13 were there, which might be played up more in the film so we have the idea in our head that something could happen to Prim.
Castor and Pollux are officially introduced, replacing their former status as “the insects.” But their presence in the last chapter was already established because they filmed the propos, and they have to reveal that Pollux is an Avox because that comes into play later as he leads them through the underground tunnels at the Capitol.
One big opportunity I think they will take to improvise is showing the Capitol bombing other Districts and not just District 8. Also, I’m expecting to see more scenes here with President Snow reacting to Katniss’ propo as well or even ordering the strike on the hospital.
Another level is introduced when we first see Peeta in his deteriorated state where he “has lost at least fifteen pounds and developed a nervous tremor in his eyes.” At this point Katniss becomes even more desperate, so it will add a sense of urgency to the mission to save Peeta, which most likely is the climax in the film.
At the end of the chapter there is a moment where we see Katniss and Finnick watch Peeta’s interview/counter propo, and they both decide to pretend they haven’t seen it. I really like this moment because it shows the special bond Finnick and Katniss have developed. They look after one another and understand the mental agony of having both Annie and Peeta in the capitols hands.
Lines I hope make it:
“We didn’t see it.”
“What?” I ask.
“We didn’t see Peeta. Only the propo on Eight. Then we turned the set off because the images upset you. Got it?”
This chapter includes lots of lovely moments of character development, but I think much of it won’t make the cut in order to keep the film moving along. I really like the short conversation between Katniss and her mother, though I don’t think we’ll see much of it. I would like there to be a line somewhere in the film from Mrs Everdeen along the lines of “I wish you had told us [you were going/what you’re doing]” as Katniss begins to slowly repair their relationship, so I’m hoping they surprise me. I thought Paula Malcolmson did a great job in Catching Fire with the little moments she got to work with, so I’m sure it’ll be the same in the Mockingjay films.
The important part of Chapter 8 though is the scene in Command and the news that D13’s propoganda machine is now in full swing. I think that Castor and Pollux will have been introduced earlier in the film, as surely they’ll devote at least a minute to explain what an avox is on film, but I hope they keep intact a short scene with the camera crew workers before Plutarch, Coin and the others arrive. That was a really nice scene in the book and because we’re missing Katniss’ inner monologue we will need some indicator that she comes to like and trust these characters. As Carla mentioned I believe Plutarch will wave away the fact Katniss disobeyed direct orders, his line in the book about her performance is perfect and will probably make it to the screen almost verbatim. Then Coin’s question of agreement towards Katniss will still work. It’s also another moment where I can see Coin asserting her authority, and maybe the moment with Gale could be altered slightly to show her asking him to stay behind as everyone else leaves, which I think would add some intrigue.
I also dearly love the moment between Haymitch and Katniss – I could always picture him sitting there waiting for her and then telling her that he ate her lunch. I think it will make it in, albeit briefly, as it could be altered to fit in when they board the hovercraft to return to D13. I love Jackson’s idea of a cut to Snow during this part of the film – I can imagine him watching an evening re-run of the first D13 propo again and then ordering new character Antonius to drag Peeta out on stage for their retaliation. And that brings us to Peeta, and the moment that is sure to break all of our hearts, not just because of how his condition has deteriorated but because of his message. This second Capitol propo certainly needs to affect the audience and make Peeta’s subsequent return to D13 even more shocking – whilst it is clear here that he is under duress and a Capitol puppet, it isn’t clear until he returns just what they have done to him.
It’s at this point that Katniss starts to realise just why Finnick is the way he is, due to Annie being held in the Capitol as well, as their bond develops even further. As Carla pointed out it also highlights that the alliance is still intact, and that the Victors are looking out for each other. I’m sure we’ll see Finnick gripping Katniss’ hand and telling her they didn’t see it, they didn’t see it before others rush in.
Lines I hope make it: “Do you really trust the people you’re working with? Do you really know what’s going on? And if you don’t…Find out” – Peeta
“We didn’t see it” – Finnick