I would like to take a minute before I delve into the two movies/ one book comparison, and say that by the end of Mockingjay, if I hadn’t been in a public place when I turned the last page, I would have been crying. To go through the journey of horrors that Katniss had to deal with for three books, to the relatively happy ending in which even she has to remind herself that she is still surviving… talk about heavy heart. Despite those feelings, I wanted to subject myself to seeing the movie for the obvious comparison reasons, and the maybe not-so-obvious visual representation of the action that takes place. Because there are two movies, there’s going to be a lot of things to point out, so bear with me.
- The reunion with Gabe- there is no lead up, nor is it as emotionally charged as in the book. At this point, Katniss is still having a lot of internal conflict about who she loves more, Peeta or Gale, in the book, and yet the movie skims this.
- Katniss’s conditions of becoming the Mockingjay are cut short. In the movie, she only asks for Peeta, Johanna, and Annie to be spared (and no mention of Enobaria) to be pardoned, and for her sisters cat to stay in the district. No mention of hunting, no mention of Gale being beside her at all times, no mention of getting to kill Snow.
- Up to this point, no mention of Haymitch, except that he’s ‘drying out’. Effie is asked to help prep the Mockingjay, instead of who was left from the stylist team. There is no mention of the abuse to the stylist team, which is important in that it adds depth to the kind of person Coin is as a leader- the kind who hurts the innocent.
- Prim relays the information about the District 13 epidemic and that Coin loses her husband and daughter to the epidemic, which is something that I either completely missed in the book, or was a Hollywood addition for sympathy from the audience.
- Katniss breaks the news about the miscarriage in District 8, when in the book it was spread like a rumor by the uppers like Haymitch, Coin, and Plutarch. Also while in 8, when the attack on the hospital happens, Katniss only shoots one plane down. There is no geese formation comment like in the book, which demonstrates the bond between Gale and Katniss.
- The movie does give much more coverage from other districts demonstrating the uprisings in comparison of the book, which mostly relays that information via narration from Katniss or broadcasts.
- Hunting above ground was Gales idea and okayed by Coin in the movie, and relayed as a surprise for Katniss. In the book, this was one of the requests Katniss makes as a condition of being the Mockingjay. Also, as a hunter myself, I’m very curious as to what the map of the districts would look like, because in my mind, I was surprised to see Katniss and Gale hunting elk in District 13- I tend to think of them as more of a Rocky Mountain range animal, and in my mind, 13 was near the Appalachians (which I know have elk, but in small populations). I did a little research to see if a map existed, and this is what I found to be the “unofficial official” map of Panem:
- The evacuation to the lower level is portrayed with way more panic and chaos than the book describes. The only dramatic part in the book is when Prim can’t be found. No idea what all the rain is about in the movie either… I don’t remember any pipes bursting underground, so I’m not sure why it’s pouring in the movie.
- Katniss is supposed to be talking about Peeta with Finnick as a distraction during the rescue mission of Peeta and the others captured during the Quarter Quell. However, in the movie, Katniss isn’t a part of the propo. Instead she is watching the rescue mission, a in communication with President Snow, which didn’t happen during Peeta’s rescue mission.
- They send in Prim, not Delly, as the first introduction to Peeta after he attacks Katniss. This makes no sense to those who read the book, because Prim would be a definite trigger that would connect back to Katniss.
- Snow poisoning the minister was definitely a show piece for the movie audience and not a part of the book- or at least, it wasn’t narrated, but more speculated by Finnick.
- Johanna looking at Katniss’s things in the hospital, not in their room. Johanna shows no hesitance when she sees the stuff, nor gets permission from Katniss to look at the things. This doesn’t allow the movie audience to see their sort of camaraderie build.
- Instead of earning her place on the 451 squad, and showing the effort that Johanna and Katniss put in training, the movie bypasses the situation and has Johanna cover for Katniss after Finnick and Annie’s wedding so that Katniss can sneak onto a plane headed for the Capital. This frustrated me, because there was so much character development for Johanna in that time period, and when she fails to make the team, it was meaningful to the reader as to why. And the same goes for Katniss, especially when she outwits the training simulator into thinking she can follow orders. Anyways, it was so Hollywood to see her walk into the war front and of course everyone was recognizing her, and then when she meets up with Gale, she learns that Coin is annoyed with her now that she’s gone rogue- when in the book, the mistrust from Coin is found out later. Finally, the squad is introduced while in the Capital during the movie, when in the book they are all shipped to the capital together.
- Finnick recognizes the Holo as akin to the Hunger Games arena before Katniss- in the book it is visa versa.
- Katniss and Gale are the only ones to head out toward the Snow mansion, and unlike when all 5 of them head out. In the book, the significance of the remaining squad members leaving to create distractions from Katniss as she makes her way to the mansion is lost in the movie. The same goes for Gale giving his nightlock pill to Peeta, and for Peeta to want to protect Katniss. Also, when Gale is captured, it is supposed to be a chaotic moment that Katniss doesn’t even have time to hear or register what Gale was shouting at her. She is not supposed to hear Gale saying shoot me.
- Snow isn’t locked up within the garden like in the book.
- Katniss only gets one arrow in the book to shoot Snow, and yet she walks out in the movie with a full quiver. Also, she mentions the lack of stage space, and how close she was to Snow for the execution, and yet the movie has a huge wide area. And on top of that, Peeta is there to witness the whole event when he should actually still be in the hospital.
There you have it, as many discrepancies as I could note while watching the films. I would like to say that over all, these movies kept me on the edge of my seat, and I enjoyed the way the actors fit their roles. I have to say, my favorite in the movie was surprisingly Haymitch- haha Woody Harrelson nailed the character. I’ll definitely be rereading and rewatching this series, and am glad I finally came out from under my rock to tackle them!