Posted by Cassandra T. in The Hunger Games, Updates on November 20, 2014
Suzanne Collins’ final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, is not an easy read. Gone are the days of the Games; now is the time for war. It’s all about politics, propaganda and manipulation. These are complicated themes which, even as a 26-year-old Communications graduate, I found hard to digest. Even two reads later, I still don’t fully understand all the complexities of it.
However, director Francis Lawrence and his team have done an excellent job in the film adaptation The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Pt. 1. They have simplified the story successfully without dumbing it down for the viewers. They have also kept true to the book, which I really appreciate. In YA fiction, a movie’s success is defined not by the critics, but by its fans. If you please the fans, you’ve got yourself a hit. And Mockingjay – Pt. 1 does exactly that. They also translated some scenes from the book to the movie that were so powerful and emotional, you can’t help but give them kudos for it!
Here are the Top 5 – Most Powerful Book-to-Screen Scenes in Mockingjay – Pt. 1.
1) The hospital bombing in District 8
Unable to summon her Mockingjay spirit to film propaganda videos in a studio, the team brings Katniss to visit a hospital in District 8, filled with the wounded and dying. The silence and amazement when the people realize that the Mockingjay is here, the question to her, “Will you fight with us?”, and the three-finger salute to her when she says “I am. I will.” is a powerful, emotive scene. Minutes later, President Snow, having spotted Katniss in District 8, sends two planes to destroy the hospital. Seething with rage, Katniss delivers her first propos passionately, announcing to the Capitol: “IF WE BURN, YOU BURN WITH US!”
2) Gale’s recount of District 12’s destruction
Katniss, Gale and the media team visit District 12 to film another propos. Cressida asks Katniss about District 12, but Katniss is lost for words. Gale steps in. In a quiet voice, he paints a powerful recollection of the night the Capitol bombed District 12, after the victors escaped the Arena. He recounts how he tried to get as many people as he could out, but only 915 out of 10,000 people made it. His story, delivered softly yet powerfully, brings tears to the eyes.
3) Katniss singing “The Hanging Tree”
This is my favourite scene of all! I got chills up my spine from this one. While taking a break from filming, Pollux asks Katniss to sing a song. Katniss decides on “The Hanging Tree”, a song her father taught her when she was young. In the book, although it had disturbing lyrics, there was no melody to bring it to life, so it remained very much an unsettling poem at most. However, Mockingjay Pt. 1 turns this into a haunting, lilting melody. With its disturbing lyrics, it is both beautiful and haunting at the same time.
4) Prim risking her life for Buttercup
This scene definitely got the adrenalin pumping! Peeta risks his life to warn Katniss that the Capitol was coming to bomb District 13, giving them precious time to run for cover. Katniss reaches the bunkers only to find Prim missing. Realizing that Prim must have gone back for the cat, she runs out of the bunker entrance and up the stairs. Luckily, Prim is coming down holding Buttercup, with Gale behind her. They make a mad dash for the closing bunker doors and get in just in time. The tension in this scene was so palpable; you could almost taste it in the air!
5) Peeta’s rescue mission
Last but definitely not the least! Katniss breaks down when she finally realizes that Snow is torturing Peeta to get to her. Afraid of losing their Mockingjay, Coin sends in a rescue team to get Peeta and the other captive victors. This scene had great back-and-forth shots between the command center and the ongoing rescue team operations. Being able to see what was going on at the same time on both sides really upped the ante, and heightened the apprehension for the rescue team’s safety and their mission success. This on-screen scene beats the book part any day!
Mockingjay – Pt. 1 is one of the best movies of the year, and I can’t wait for Pt. 2! What was your favourite scene?