It's Mockingjay Mockup time!
This is a long time coming, and dear oh dear how much we apologize for the extended hiatus! It's been more than five months since we analyzed the first section of Mockingjay Part 2, how embarrassing! If you're a newbie, no worries! You can catch up on the first post of Part 2 HERE. If you want to start reading our series (which would be very awesome of you) from the beginning, click away HERE. Now, a lot has happened since we last posted a Mockingjay Mockup, most important being that we know who the screenwriter will be for Mockingjay Part 1: Danny Strong! In case you haven't heard, Danny Strong has most recently won two Emmys and a Golden Globe for writing and producing Game Change, HOLY HOVERCRAFT! It is curious though, in a recent interview with Francis Lawrence he mentions Strong writing Mockingjay Part 1. I think most of the fans are assuming/hoping he'll be writing Part 2 as well because, well, isn't two writers for two halves a little weird? We're hoping he'll be writing both parts. We have absolutely no doubts that he will deliver a script that honors the book as well as the severity, political themes, and realness of the story. Not to mention we are quite certain he is as geeky as we are, and have yet to hear any negative opinions of him as a screenwriter for Mockingjay. Anyway, onto the analysis!
Behold the whole Part 2 timeline!
Continuing where we left off, we are at Turning Point I of Part 2 which is the second war room scene of the film. In this scene, Katniss and Finnick are shown the hologram of the Capitol pods, the very same they have seen in the arena. We do hope they keep in the part when Katniss finishes Finnick's line,"Let the 76th Hunger Games begin!" and laughs quickly in the war room. So hilarious, so inappropriate, so Jennifer Lawrence. Another note here would be to have a lack of Katniss/Coin conflict in the film. Why? Oh, you'll see. ::laughs maniacally::
Now, here's a question to answer. What happens to Johanna? Does her character get promoted to the Star Squad? Does she stay behind as in the books? On one hand we get more Johanna, huzzah! But on the other we have faithfulness to the books, and something of a reveal. Will the movies have shown us Johanna's time in the Capitol's clutches? Or perhaps the audience knows nothing making a huge reveal that that's why she's not in the war room scene because she failed the S.S.C. (another reason to keep that scene in) due to her fear of water all this time. That's how she was tortured. A horrible gut wrenching reveal, but that makes us feel for her. Katniss saying goodbye to Johanna is a touching scene as well when she gives her the gift of pine needles that remind her of home. Now that's some good stuff right there. But keep in mind none of that can happen if Johanna's character is upgraded to Star Squad. Though if Suzanne, Francis, and Danny Strong wanted to be sneaky they could totally put that reveal in another moment. Which begs another question, will Johanna survive?
There would have to be one more important scene before Katniss and the others depart for taking on The Capitol. Katniss saying goodbye to her family, which will definitely be a tear jerker. The way Katniss portrays the situation to her mom and Prim is that she will return safely. This scene will be short, but will make our hearts drop into our stomachs. Katniss says goodbye to a teary Prim who strongly says, "Next time we see each other, we'll be free of him." To which every Hunger Games fan will seizure and yell, "MY EMOTIONS!!" because we all know what happens there. Meanwhile the nonbelievers will be probably be thinking Katniss will be the one not coming back. Well that's what they get for not reading the books.
Let's move on shall we? The next set of events will probably move quickly (honestly the whole movie will probably be that way) so likely there will be one location for the war tent on their journey to the Capitol, at least before all hell breaks loose. Two things need to happen: Peeta's unexpected return and Boggs and Katniss' conversation. First Peeta arrives unleashing confusion among everyone. Katniss and Boggs then have a private conversation in the woods about Coin sending Peeta. In this scene, Katniss starts to understand (and the audience) that her use to Coin is much better dead than alive, which is why it'd be nice for there to be no kind of noticeable conflict between Coin and Katniss in the beginning of Part 2. We see it a zillion places in part 1, but that's just enough for the audience to forget about it when WABAM! A wild Katniss-murdering-Peeta appears! A special moment happens between Katniss and Boggs we also hope will make it. Boggs says, "I'm planning for you to have a long life." After everything Katniss has been through she asks Boggs why he's sticking his neck out for her to which he responds, "Because you've earned it." Let's hope they cast someone really cool and talented for Boggs because he is one mega awesome character.
Try and Remember
When they return to camp during dinner, Katniss is in a sort of rage and almost egging Peeta on in her general anger. Whether Haymitch is there at the camp or through the phone (like in the book), this conversation changes Katniss' POV on the whole Peeta situation. What it is it that changes her mind? Haymitch says, "You and me, we made a deal to try and save him. Remember?" When Katniss has no response Haymitch hangs up after he says, "Try and remember". So then Katniss takes her first watch over Peeta. It's a scene in the books that is a heart wrencher especially for Peeta fans. It's the first good conversation between Katniss and Peeta since he was hijacked. This is also the part in the books where the real/not real game is established which makes great sense in a recovery mindset, but for the pay off at the end of the book is questionable. It cannot be denied that real/not real is a staple of the franchise, yet from a screenwriting aspect can be seen as cheesy. I guess we'll see what approach Francis Lawrence will want to take. Oh, and I guess there should probably be a scene with Gale and Katniss talking about her plans of stealing the holo and going off on her own killing Snow all by herself. That's probably important too.
The Worst Mistake Ever
Now, we get into the nitty gritty. What seems to be a harmless "mission" for Star Squad 451 footage ends up going from everything is totally cool to complete catastrophe to full on sprint to President Snow's mansion. Oh, and Peeta goes insane with tracker jacker insanity and murders Mitchell and almost kills Katniss. The scene of all hell breaking loose is questionable indeed for a PG-13 rating. Nina Jacobson's statement of staying true to the severity of the books and keeping the rating low for their target demographic will be interesting to see. It's seems more likely that Peeta won't end up murdering anyone and I don't think we'll be seeing Bogg's legs being blown to pieces either. Which also gets us thinking, will they shy away from what the Capitol actually did to Finnick? As a huge fan of this series, it would not be okay if the films softened any part of Finnick's backstory. It's that way for a reason. But that's a little off topic. Back on track we go...
Once on the surface, the team takes refuge with Tigris. This will allow a break from the madness, and a nice character scene. Peeta's line "I'm so tired" speaks more than just a lack of sleep will be followed by a final dialogue between Gale and Peeta reflecting on Katniss as their common interest. We hope those gems make it because they are extremely important for their character development. Then, finally… to the City Circle!
Almost where The Hunger Games began, Gale and Katniss (and maybe even Peeta if they decide to change it) make their way to the City Circle and to Snow's mansion. Should they keep in the rebels arriving and being horrible shots? We think so because it's how Suzanne wrote it. You bet the same goes for the poor innocent girl in the lemon coat. Fans have drawn comparisons to the likes of the little girl in the red coat in Schindler's List, and even Gavroche in Les Miserables. It seems Suzanne was trying to say something with the girl in the lemon coat and we agree for this reason it should not be left out. The City Circle/rebel invasion we are labeling as the pre-climax that precedes turning point II which is the biggest catalyst in the whole trilogy: Prim's death.
|Get ready for those feels!|
As we teased in our last installment, this is our deviation from the basic movie plot structure we have introduced you to in the beginning of our Mockingjay Mockup series. We mentioned before that Danny Strong will probably adopt a structure plan much more sophisticated than this one. This is because 1. Danny Strong is an award winning screenwriter, 2. Mockingjay's story structure as a book is very complex, and 3. it's so complex we even had to deviate from the simple formula (we made more than one attempt to plot it out). According to our outline, we have TWO pre-climaxes. This is because the book has TWO very pivotal scenes involving the ending of the war. Continuing on to our final turning point, often referred to as "hero's darkest hour", is the event of Prim's death (events leading up to this are labeled as the first pre-climax). Yes, we are hoping and praying that the details in the book containing the barricade of children, the hovercraft, and the parachutes going off twice, and the necessary scene earlier with Gale and Beetee's brainchild will all make it in. The very reason the books touch us like they do is because of Katniss' supreme love for her sister. Prim is the only person Katniss is certain she loves and the reason for all her actions in the past three books is to protect her. The final turning point mirrors the inciting incident of the series in which Prim's name is drawn from the reaping ball (dare I say we might see a flashback?), cuts to the core of each and every one of us. It is the worst tragedy that could possibly happen in the story, and yet says so much about the realism of war. Will Katniss get closure on Prim? Do they get a final moment together? We're gonna have to wait and see. We're not even sure which way we would rather have it.
The very reason plotting the second half of Mockingjay was so difficult aside from the structure is because so much ends up happening after the war is over. As far as the book goes, there's still a lot to be read from here. Therefore, the resolution will take a little longer than typical to get there, but that doesn't mean the action is even close to being over. First off, will they keep in Katniss' dream sequence? Films seem to like having dream sequences for some reason so it's possible they will keep this one in, but maybe something not as fantastical. What if it was a dream that had not only Prim but Rue, Thresh, Cinna, even Katniss' father? There's an idea. Go ahead Lionsgate, that one's for free on us ;).
|If only it was as less depressing and ridiculous as this dream sequence.|
How to honor Mockingjay
Should Katniss look as burned as she is in the books? Why not? At least they should show some visible trauma to the ordeal she has just gone through. No doubt she should wander off immediately and stumble upon the rose garden and Snow. Audience questions need to be answered! To stay completely true to Mockingjay, it should be inferred the rebels, or rather Coin sent that disguised hovercraft. Mockingjay CAN NEVER be truly be Mockingjay without the blurred lines. There is no good side and there is no bad side.
A Changed Effie
The next scene up is execution day. With Snow's comment constantly nagging at the back of Katniss' mind we get many surprises, the first one being Effie. Now we are not sure what Francis Lawrence and Suzanne's plans are for Effie, but it was discussed on the most recent episode of HG Fireside Chat how Effie's character in the film may end up sort of representing the prep team characters in the book. It could be very interesting and no doubt Elizabeth Banks can nail it. It is inferred (more like spelled out) that the Capitol did take Effie prisoner and tortured her like the other tributes. Suzanne left the rest very blank and mysterious but perhaps Francis Lawrence or Danny Strong will fill in the rest for us. Will we see Effie in those scenes involving Peeta and Johanna being tortured? That is, if the PG-13 will allow it. Maybe at this point in the story we will see a changed and enlightened, but slightly damaged Effie.
Two more important scenes before the execution, the first being Katniss and Gale's goodbye scene. If the film sticks to how it is in the book with a lack of closure (which we defend because if life has taught us anything it's that you don't get closure on a relationship or loved one, that's why Suzanne wrote it that way) it will be a heartbreaking scene for both characters. There's the sort of unknown fact of who the hovercraft belonged to and Gale might have accidentally had a hand in the exploding parachutes. Gale of course had no idea what that was to be used for, yet it still happened and he is a constant reminder of that tragedy. Katniss wants to make it work, but it's so horrifyingly tragic she cannot bring herself to. It's also gonna depend on how the Katniss/Gale scenes will be in Catching Fire and what Francis Lawrence chooses to do with that relationship that will determine how this scene will go.
Next up we have the all important Mockingjay Deal meeting. All surviving victors (protected by The Mockingjay Deal) are gathered around to decide if there will be a final Hunger Games to satisfy the citizens of Panem's rage for blood. This is CRUCIAL. The nature of this scene cannot be changed in any way or fans will be starting a rebellion of their own. Katniss finally realizes what Snow was saying and also realizes that neither side is the good guy here. They will never change. Katniss' "yes" to throw off her scent makes the motion go through so Coin thinks everything fine and dandy. An immediate cut to the execution ceremony should be underway. Hopefully Francis Lawrence will illustrate a way to explain to the audience everything that has happened considering Coin, how she too is a villain and must be stopped. This is what Katniss thinks is her final moment ("I no longer feel any allegiance to these monsters called human beings, despise being one myself"). She has nothing to live for, and if she's going down by golly so is the devil. Snow is coughing up blood and dying anyways so as Coin falls dead from the balcony Katniss goes for her suicide pill. She is stopped by Peeta. Katniss yells, "Let me go!" to which he says, "I can't." A moment we hope will stay because it says everything about their relationship and how since reaping day they have been sort of bound together, each one in turn saving the other.
Pre-Climax #2 - Climax
That whole action scene is all part of our second pre-climax. It is a pivotal moment for the true ending of the war, but the following events in the books decree that Katniss is not out of the woods yet. Katniss has a trial as a war criminal. Though she has done the whole nation the biggest favor EVER, she has committed a serious crime in the eyes of the rebels, mutiny even. Unfortunately, we don't get to see what specifically happens in the book, but I think that is a huge opportunity for Francis Lawrence to make something great. Make Katniss' trial something of inspiration and epicness, all the while seeing the country's reaction to Katniss singing beautiful songs in truly her most darkest hour. Trial scenes can get really intense, and with great writing it could really add intensity to the film.
Wrapping it up
When Katniss get released, the conversation with Haymitch and Plutarch in the hovercraft on the way to 12 is a great dialogue. Plutarch goes on to say perhaps this is the time when it truly "sticks", and perhaps people have changed ("Maybe we are witnessing the evolution of the human race. Think about that"). There is something kind of inspirational about it, and it's the first step the film can take to wrapping things up. Perhaps we see Katniss coping, and maybe even Peeta comes home with her which is a deviation from the book, but it certainly saves time. Before we truly start ending the story, there is a scene that absolutely has to happen with Katniss' character. Katniss has to come to terms with Prim's death. This scene is very intense for Hunger Games fans, and can be argued as the most difficult to read. It's a stage of losing of a loved one that everyone goes through no matter where you come from. Some of us still struggle with it. Suzanne wrote this scene (and the whole trilogy) to help young people deal with war, it's damage, cost, and the loss of human life. It is something that should stir something in all of us, and we hope that point gets nailed down. Because Katniss goes through this, she gets an idea to commemorate everything that happened using her family plant book. This could be a really great moment to wrap up the film and all that happened. Tiffany and I (Courtney) are Lord of the Rings aficionados. We watch/read it frequently, and there's one part that always hits home because it reminds me of The Hunger Games trilogy, specifically the end of Mockingjay. It is a scene toward the end of The Two Towers, and it is Sam's moving speech:
How can the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened? Panem is in a very similar situation, and the book that Katniss makes commemorates all that happened for future generations and also helps Katniss and Peeta cope. This could be a great ending to the film because as they remember through the book, so we remember everyone that was lost since Katniss' first Hunger Games. Some of the tributes may have been seen as enemies at the time, but they were also victims. Another route to take for wrapping it up (aside from Katniss and Peeta growing together) is to have a similar "Sam" moment that brings everything around and sort of bringing the country of Panem together. Although among the rebel officials Katniss is seen as a military figure gone completely insane, Katniss exists in the hearts of the citizens of Panem, on posters everywhere, even statues raised in her honor. The ending should also include how Peeta is still after many years coping with his hijacking injury. This says a lot about the long term effects of war, something Suzanne was also trying to impart in her books.
Though the paragraph above is a good way to end the trilogy, but we haven't even discussed the whole Katniss-and-Peeta-have-children thing. We have no idea how they are handling Katniss' and Peeta's relationship in Catching Fire or Mockingjay. It's possible they could end the film similar to above and have the two of them coping together and end it there. But If there is no epilogue involving Katniss and Peeta's children, some fans might not be so happy. The ending to The Hunger Games trilogy means and affects different fans in different ways. Some deem the epilogue not paramount, but then there are some who were utterly touched by the hope of Katniss and Peeta having children, something Katniss always swore she would never do because all she knew was a society that held a Hunger Games year after year. This also may be the only place a Katniss voiceover would be totally appropriate. No matter how the trilogy ends we hope it will leave us with a positive message in a world where so much bad happened, but most importantly, a message of hope.
Epilogue to the epilogue
Mockingjay as a whole is a lot of information. This is why we set out to make The Mockingjay Mockup series. It was during a time when the fate of Mockingjay was up in the air and we wanted convince fans who didn't think two movies were warranted that it's not just an option IT'S NECESSARY. If you've read all of our installments so far (thanks so much!) or are just generally familiar with Mockingjay's plot you probably have a good idea why these movies are being split. We just didn't think Mockingjay had a chance to be honored for all it stood for in just one movie. Luckily, we don't have to worry about that anymore! The movies are being split, so there's nothing for us to do now but wait patiently for three more movies. Catching Fire will answer some of the questions we've posed about certain story lines in the trilogy, and Mockingjay Part 1 will answer even more questions. Even after cutting many scenes, the ones we have proposed might even be too much for a 2 and a half hour movie. We are just really big fans who really love movies and want The Hunger Games trilogy films to live up to their potential. We feel your pain, Francis. Good luck with figuring out what will end up on the proverbial cutting room floor! We salute you, for when we needed someone to take over you were there. Now you are in for the long haul and we are trusting you to honor the books and turn them into the great films we've always hoped them to be.
We will close Mockingjay Mockup next time with our final installment to be entitled, Cinematic Delusions of Grandeur Part 2!
May your bread be toasty and your arrow fly straight,
Courtney & Tiffany
Previous Mockingjay Mockup editions:
PART 1 OVERVIEW
PART 1 TIMELINE
CINEMATIC DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR (Part 1)
PART 2 OUTLINE (Part 1)