The Hunger Games fans only got a taste of the perfectly portrayed movie “The MockingJay: Part 1.” Since everyone will be left hanging for an entire year the filmmakers had to figure out where to end this first movie without pissing off too many fans and most would say they did a pretty fantastic job. There was just the right amount of detail to keep the audience hooked, but still keep them undeniably thirsty for Part 2.
It’s amazing to see all the actors from the first Hunger Games movie evolving with their characters and really taking the whole journey into consideration. Also, new faces like President Coin (Julianne Moore) and Cressida (Natalie Dormer) get you excited to see what they can bring to an already brilliant cast. The new characters were introduced seamlessly and painted the picture of the story. Let’s hope the Hunger Games team will keep up the good work and fans will find a way to fast forward time to next November.
Be forewarned that SPOILERS are definitely ahead for both the book and the movie.
Let’s start with 4 Pleasant Surprises…
4. The Pearl
Even though it was mentioned often in the book and wasn’t over looked, there was something about actually seeing Katniss and the pearl that Peeta gave her in the Quarter Quell arena that really was heartbreaking.
Katniss clung to the pearl almost like it was the only thing holding her together. If anyone would take it away, viewers knew without a doubt that she would become insane. It really drove home how desperate she was to get Peeta back and to keep all the memories she had of him. The pearl was the last gift he gave her and it became a part of her to keep her sanity and give her hope.
In the book, Effie was nowhere to be found in Part 1. Instead President Coin had Fulvia and Octavia taken from the Capitol to be Katniss’s prep team.
In the movie, Effie was “saved” from the capitol and was there to execute the style of the MockingJay. Effie added comic relief to District 13 because she acted like a prisoner. She couldn’t have coffee or her wigs; so she looked at it as being in jail. She dressed up the District 13 garb as only she could and was a great character to Part 1 of this story. She truly was a great confidant to Katniss and would have been more desirable to Katniss as opposed to Fulvia and Octavia.
In both the movie and the book a group of soldiers go into the capitol to save the victors that the Capitol is holding prisoner. Now in the movie not only was it cool to actually see the mission take place, but they added that Katniss was able to talk to Snow while it was happening. She acted like a distraction to keep Snow occupied while they got out of there. But it turned out that Snow knew they were there the whole time and made it seem like a trap. They were confused when they were able to leave unharmed, but no one questioned it until Peeta attacked Katniss and they realized he was hijacked.
In the book it’s just said that they went on the mission to save the victors in the Capitol and readers found out when they came back safely; then Peeta attacks Katniss the same way.
1. District 7 and District 5
After each propo it was great to see how the rebels reacted to their MockingJay’s lead. This is something only the movie offered.
After District 8 was bombed and Katniss said in her speech “If we burn, you burn with us,” it was brilliant to then see the people in District 7 take action and climb trees to get away from the Peacekeepers as they ignite bombs dug in the ground. Right before District 7 blows them to pieces they repeat the burn quote. Also after Katniss sang the hanging tree song the people of District 5 chanting it while they attacked Peacekeeprs to place bombs in the damn and take out all of the power in the districts. It was a great look into the rebellion outside of the Mockingjay campaign and to see Katniss’ influence on everyone.
Now it’s time for the 4 Utter Disappointments…
4. Epidemic in 13
The movie briefly mentions a pox epidemic that hit District 13. Katniss notices that there aren’t a lot of kids running around and Prim informs her that there was an epidemic that caused the death of the president’s husband and daughter.
The book elaborates a lot more and says how after the disease killed many from District 13, it also left a lot of women unable to become pregnant. Once District 12 arrived, District 13 was happy to welcome them because they “needed” them. To keep thriving, District 13 needed District 12 to keep the population going. They even reference in the book how they needed them to “breed”. It makes you wonder how much longer could District 13 could have lasted if Katniss never volunteered for the games and defied the capitol with the berries to spark the rebellion.
3. District 13
Aside from it being underground and that everyone wears the same thing, you don’t learn much about District 13; which would be fine except that they had a lot of really “interesting” rules. Every morning in District 13 citizens put their arm under a scanner that gives them a temporary tattoo of their schedule for the day. Then it washed off when they took a bath right before bed.
It was not wise for citizens to skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner during their schedule because rationing food is also a big issue for District 13. Only three meals are distributed a day and each meal is customized for each person to make sure they are getting the correct amount of nutrients to stay healthy and keep them going till their next meal. No one ever indulges and getting seconds doesn’t exist. There are punishments if citizens don’t eat everything, take food outside the dining hall, or if they take food from others.
The movie never really touches on Haymitch’s past. From the movies, all you really know about him is that he is a victor and a drunk.
In the book you learn that Haymitch won the 50th Hunger Games, which was the second Quarter Quell. Because it was the Quarter Quell, the twist was that there were twice the amount of tributes so it was Haymitch versus 47 other kids. In the games Haymitch figured out how to use the force field around the arena as a weapon and that’s how he won. The capitol viewed this stunt as Haymitch trying to make the capitol look stupid, so they killed off his family and his girlfriend.
You find out that this is why Haymitch was never sold in the capitol like Finnick was, because they had no one to threaten to kill if he didn’t do it. So combine that and him having to watch 23 years of District 12 kids dying under his mentoring and it explains why he isolates himself and drinks himself asleep every day.
1. The MockingJay
In the movies, you never find out why “The Mockingjay” is the perfect symbol for the rebellion aside from the fact that it is on the pin that she takes into the arena. However the books share a little piece of information that makes the Mockingjay much more important.
The MockingJay itself is something the Capital didn’t plan on. It was actually said in the Catching Fire book that when the first rebellion was going down, the Capitol used Jabberjays (which were only male) to spy on the rebels and bring what they were saying around the districts back to the Capitol. The rebels caught wind of this and started feeding the Jabberjays lies to misinform the Capitol.
Once the Capitol figured out they were using the Jabberjays against them, they let the birds out in the wild to die. Little did they know that the Jabberjays mated with the Mockingbirds to create the Mockingjay. So what is a better symbol for the rebellion than a bird that exists specifically because of the Capitols’ mistake?