A few parts in Mockingjay Part 1 and 2 have been announced this week. I will get to my thoughts on the casting of Cressida (Natalie Dormer!), Annie and Messalla in a later post, but I’m going to take this opportunity to talk about my thoughts on Mockingjay in general.
The Hunger Games has fallen victim to what I am going to call the Deathly Hallows effect. It is now common that when a book series is being turned into a movie series, the last book is split into two movies. Harry Potter did it first with the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2. Twilight then copied and made final book Breaking Dawn into two movies. So, inevitably The Hunger Games followed suit and will be splitting the final book into two movies.
I’m a little apprehensive about this decision. Now, I love Harry Potter 7.1 but I will agree with the criticism that it is a lot of camping and camping and a little action. I’m worried Mockingjay Part 1 is going to be the same. Its going to be a lot of hospital stays and hospital stays and a little action. Katniss spends a rather large portion of the first part of the book in the hospital with Johanna. She then goes out and does something badass, then she gets injured and ends up back in the hospital with Johanna. So, much like how Harry Potter 7.1 is Harry and Hermione hanging out in tents, Mockingjay Part 1 could be a lot of Katniss and Johanna hanging out in a hospital room.
I’m not saying that is going to be a bad thing, especially not for me. Johanna is a good character and much of Katniss’ internal thought process is given to us as she is in a hospital bed. Will non-book readers and flaking fans find it as exciting? I don’t know. I’m assuming much like in the first movie and seemingly in the second, we are going to see what is going on away from Katniss. For Mockingjay Part 1 that is probably going to be a lot of what is happening to Peeta in the Captiol, if not he is hardly going to be in Part 1. And little to no Josh Huntcherson is certainly going to piss off fans.
My best case scenario would have been The Hunger Games avoiding the Deathly Hallows effect all together, but if it had to split a book in two my first choice would have been Catching Fire. In my opinion how District 12 and Katniss herself are different after the events of the first book is more interesting than the daily life aspects of District 13 and Katniss getting to know her movie crew. I would sit through a whole movie exploring the psychological and sociological impacts of Katniss and Peeta winning the games, their experience on the victory tour and getting to know the other victors before they even enter the arena. How would a Hunger Games without a Hunger Games or big battle to replace it have gone over with fans? Probably not very well. But as a huge fans of the books and the world Suzanne Collins created, I would have liked it.