Holy Plot Hole!

WOW! We asked for your opinions on all things Hunger Games and we have been blown away by your submissions! So let’s huddle around the campfire and share everyone’s thoughts on The Hunger Games!

First up is Katrina, a lovely Irish fan who has a bit of a bone to pick with Gary Ross.

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Can I just start by saying that I like Gary Ross. He’s cool. He has a beard. Who doesn’t love beards? And he’s a fan of the series, so that is definitely an added bonus. I just wish everyone was like him, and us, and had read the series before they saw the first movie. But they hadn’t, so the movie became kind of confusing for some, and I just don’t want that to happen in Catching Fire. I like him as a guy, but his directing in The Hunger Games wasn’t really (in my personal opinion), the absolute best. Nobody’s perfect, but he left a lot to be desired for.

Katniss Everdeen The Hunger Games meme

Katniss Evermean

I mean, look; a main part of the plotline is that Peeta loves Katniss, but she at first doesn’t return the feelings for him. Now, sitting in the cinema as a Hunger Games fan, I of course knew this already. But my friend did not, and she was confused. The only sign of her not loving him is when she pushes him against the wall (MANNERS! Effie screams in my head), but she could have fallen in love with him in the arena. Because, you know, hormonal teenagers are hormonal. Well anyway, my friend didn’t understand why I whispered “It was all for the games, how you acted” like a looney bin at the end. Á la me, she finally understood the plot (after we got shushed by a worker). But still, not really a big problem, right?

Wrong. How are they going to explain President Snow’s threat to Katniss in Catching Fire, saying he knows their love isn’t real? I mean, Gale kisses her, not the other way around. So in her mind she could be all, “Aw hell no!” and go back to Peeta. And then when they kiss in the snow it’ll just be like they’re in love. It’ll just really confuse the audience further when she’s so cold towards him in Haymitch’s house.

Try to look at it from the audience’s point of view: Katniss kisses Peeta, aww, they’re in love, she saves his life, they hold hands, boom, next thing Snow’s telling her he knows about the kiss, Gale kisses her in a flashback, she’s a bitch to Peeta, then she’s all loved up again? There has to be something in between to hold it together. Maybe a talk with her mother about how she doesn’t love Peeta or something. I don’t know, I’m not a director. Although I’m beginning to wish I had some input on the first movie…well, maybe not, I’d have myself playing every part.

Also, how do we establish how she knows her prep team? She barely gave them a look in in the first movie. You don’t just go all emotional with a stranger (unless you’re at Alcoholics Anonymous and/or you just have a lot of feelings), and her prep team are basically strangers. And the whole Mockingjay pin thing. She’s not going to go to the Mayor’s house and say, ‘Move bitch, I want to see what’s on your dad’s TV.’ So how is she going to get in to the Mayor’s house when we don’t know that she knows Madge?

Katniss Peeta Capitol interview The Hunger Games

Their fake love is still better than most “real love” in movies!

I can think of several ways to pull taught the loose ends of this knot (or maybe I should ask Finnick), but not everyone is like me, sadly. So how Francis interprets this is going to remain a mystery until next November. I just hope he finds a way to make it all fit. There’s not really much I can do except complain until the next movie.

If he pulls it off right, the next two movies after that will fit together and be Cinna-sational. Marvel-ous. Effie-ortless. Someone-slap-me.

Poor Francis Lawrence, though. He has so much picking up to do. I have faith he’ll fill in these plot holes. He’s going to need a big shovel, but I’m sure with the help of the others on set it will be fantastic. With filming beginning in September, he has a lot of work to do.

As we say in Ireland; have a drink and go to work. Well, we don’t really say that. We’re not all alcoholics…at least, anyone under 18 isn’t.
Katrina

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27 comments

  1. So either A) Katrina read my mind and that’s creepy. Or 2) the fans have all mind melded, also creepy. Or lastly) these issues and holes were just that obvious. when I noticed these things upon first viewing, I thought maybe I just missed it, so I saw it 6 more times, and no not just me and my crazy obsessive friends, there were those you pointed out so many more plot holes. I heart-ed Gary and I didn’t complain (much), but you’re right, Frances has got some ends to tighten, but I’ve got faith he can do it.

  2. This guest post was great! Love the humour in it.

    So basically, I pretty much agree with Katrina. The love thing was… too badly done. I mean, Gary Ross could’ve even included the train scene as in the book. “So it was all for the games?” “Yes Peeta now go away eeeww” or something like that. 😛 – even with just that scene, it could’ve been very clear.

    Luckily, I’m pretty confident Francis Lawrence will solve this greatly. Something at the beginning that is a nice substitute for the train scene. Maybe Katniss speaks with Peeta, or maybe she speaks with Prim or someone else, or it’s shown in some other way. Who knows? As long as it’s clear, I will be happy.

    It’s pretty hard to show what goes through Katniss’ mind in a movie. I mean, her thoughts about what she feels are pretty complex. She doesn’t love Peeta, she doesn’t love Gale, but at the same time she feels something for them. And that needs to be clear, so the train scenes where Peeta comforts her when she has nightmares, the arena scene with the forcefield and the beach, etc. have its original meaning, and aren’t taken completely out of context (I don’t want anyone calling Katniss a bitch. I love Katniss and Jen too much to stand that! >_<)

    We'll see, but I pretty much trust mr. Lawrence.

    About the prep team… that was a bit of a fuck up honestly. And the avox… poor avox actress 😦 – no clue on how's this going to be solved, but I read somewhere the prep team actors are back (dunno about the avox) so we'll see.

    By the way, about the post, you said you had a few ideas on how you'd solve this, would have been cool to read one or two of them 🙂

    Great work!

  3. I´m sorry, but i disagree with you strongly. Yes, Ross dropped the ball in many aspects, like the movie though, but I think this Katniss/Peeta relationship imbalence was spelled out quite clearly. I did not read the books before the movie, but the ending made me almost cry. How Peeta was very optimistic about the “relationship” when Katniss clearly was not feeling it as strongly. The exchange in the train about what they do when they arrive home was very telling: “We try to forget.” “But I don´t want to forget.” and the looks that were changed. When in the end Peeta smiled in the cesar´s interview with Katniss, it was very hard to watch, because that boy was getting his heart crushed royally.

    I can’t understand how this was unclear for somebody.

    1. And i have to disagree with you. I’ve seen the film 4 times, and each time I made sure to either speak to, or listen to people in the audience who were not fans of the books, and had never read them. By a vast majority when asked “did you know she was faking it?” those that were either fans or not said… “that wasn’t clear enough.” So, yes… if Lawrence is gauging the audience reaction to the first film, he will probably have to add scenes or flashes that explain things, lot of things actually, and not just the non-romance between Peeta and Katniss.

      1. Well I had to ask my husband for an opinion, because I started to doubt myself and for him (who did not like the film that much and has not ever seen or read anything about the topic) it was obvious as day that Peeta loved Katniss, and Katniss well … not so much. Did you survey people under 14 that would maybe explain that. Then it’s possible their understanding of subtext is bit lacking and need to explicitly told “Katniss does not like Peeta that much, ok”. but that would be greatly underestimating the intelligence of most people.

        I don’t see any problem with prep team. It´s quite easy to slip them in if needed. I am happy that Madge was written out, because she always felt very glued on character and I hope for the movie’s sake that she is not later added.

    2. I too have heard many ADULTS say that they didn’t understand that Katniss was faking her feelings for Peeta. To say that only someone 14 or under wouldn’t have understood that is s bit much because every adult I know who hasn’t read the books was thrown off by that.

      If your hubs got it, ten points to him! But let’s not put down the *majority* of non-readers who didn’t. Katrina is right.. even as someone who knew in advance, I agree that it was not very clear in the film.

      1. I don’t agree. I went into the midnight screening not having read the books. I got that Katniss never really loved Peeta. There were tons of clues: Haymitch notes to Katniss, the reluctance of Katniss the even kiss Peeta, Katniss’ dead face during the Post game interview, The “We try to forget” line, and what put the nail in the coffin for me was the look Katniss gave Gale when she got back and then the look on Peeta’s face when he see’s that. I know that look, because I have given that crushed love look once before.

        I just find it hard to believe that people had so much trouble knowing this.

        Also I’m under the impression the prep team is just going to be a non factor like the first movie. Maybe they might put more of them in this movie, but I don’t think so. Them crying just might be gone from the movie. If it still there they can explain it away with Katnss talking to Haymitch about the weird behavior of her prep team and him explaining how much the citizens of the capitol are attached to their Victors.

        Now for the Mayor’s house. We can pretty much guess that Madge will not be in Catching Fire (unless she is the mystery women on the bottom of the casting page). So lets look at the scene in the book:

        Katniss is at the Mayor’s house for the District 12 feast at the end of the Victors Parade. She goes to find Marge to talk before the feast. This is when she walks past the Mayor’s office and decides to say Hello and see’s the TV.

        With no Madge , lets write is like this:

        Katniss is at the Mayor’s house for the District 12 feast at the end of the Victors Parade. She gets done early from prep and is asked to be excused to go find Peeta. She walks past the Mayor’s Office and hears the TV. Curious, she peaks in and sees the Message playing on the TV.

        Anyway great article. Like reading it and thinking about it.

        Boom Madge is written out and a possible situation is added to fill in for it.

  4. I love Katrina saying (MANNERS!) in the middle of her mini-rant. WONDERFUL. I think the movie completely dropped the ball. It made me sad. However, watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics all I could think was “Welcome to the Hunger Games” in Effie’s voice.

  5. First of all: Katrina, I hope to hear more from you because your writing fits the Victor’s Village Vibe (VVV) so well in terms of the attitude and humor! =) (Okay, can I trademark VVV?)

    It would be very interesting to have a debate here about whether the movie romance worked or didn’t work. Too bad that we likely won’t have too much input here from the “only watched the movie” camp because people who just saw THG as another entertaining movie, but then quickly moved on to other fare, will likely not be posting on VV.

    I can say that for myself, the main disappointment I had with the movie version of K-P wasn’t “I can’t tell that Katniss was supposed to be acting”, but the evisceration of Peeta’s wonderful character, beyond being a stock Love Interest. Especially sad because I’m sure J-Hutch would have NAILED the “Come to finish me off, sweetheart” line, or the one about how he likes watching her sleep because “You don’t scowl. Improves your looks a lot.” Etc. The only funny line they gave him was that “I’ll take the bow” comment, which I didn’t even catch the first time.

    He also seemed much more suspicious of Katniss from the beginning, asking her more than once, “Why are you doing this?” So the way I interpreted the movie version of the relationship sure wasn’t that they were conventionally in love, but that not only was Katniss acting, Peeta knew or suspected she was acting. At least, up until she essentially saves his life with the berries, because Peeta seemed quite genuinely happy and smiling in the post-game interview. On the other hand, Katniss seemed to be quite obviously acting there, and I could see why Snow wouldn’t buy it.

    So, to me, any ambiguity about the relationship during the actual Games was clarified by the end. I also saw the “forget”/”I don’t want to forget” scene to be telling, as well as the last scene where K and P are smiling and waving for the cameras, then Peeta gives Katniss such a longing, wistful look that I could tell he realized she didn’t feel the same way. When he takes her hand after that, I swear I could hear “One more time, for the audience” echoing in my head.

    All that being said, if the general audience reaction was to be confused and weirded out, then the lack-of-complete-reciprocity on Katniss’s part probably needs to be clarified in CF. But remember, Katniss herself is confused. Some people seem to think that in the THG book, she has NO feelings for Peeta at all, and was acting the whole time. That’s not quite true either. When Peeta confronts her with “It was all for the Games, the way you acted,” she replies “Not all of it.” So, even if this scene had been in the movie, I think some people would still be confused about Katniss’s true feelings.

    1. I agree with you most of your points there about Peeta´s character development and all, but there´s a line when the movie gets too dumbed down. Some clarifying dialogue is ok, but I’ve seen so many mainly US movies that the plot is spelled out soooooo clearly and slowly that the slowest fellow in the back seat understands and the movie suffers from it.

      1. Wintterroad: I hear what you’re saying, and I’m not saying I want FLaw to cater to the “slowest fellow in the back seat”. Unlike another poster on this page, I do NOT want CF to be filled with voice-overs. But, if the vast majority of people who watched the movie didn’t get a major plot point, then I think that some GR critique is justified. (Though I realize that’s a big IF and it’s probably impossible to really get a number b/c lot of critique is from people who say, “IF I hadn’t read the book I wouldn’t get it”, and that’s another IF, an assumption that can’t be proved.)

        That being said, there’s a whole series of THG movie critiques and rebuttals on the fandom.net site, and one includes a complaint that the movie doesn’t explain why Peeta was with the careers hunting Katniss, even though I had no problem with the way the movie addressed this, it really wasn’t that different from the the actual book.

        The reason I wanted some of Peeta’s book lines included isn’t really to clarify the plot, but because they show that Peeta, despite crushing on Katniss for years, is hardly a lovesick fool who doesn’t see her faults, or a pushover who’ll do anything to please her. The movie showed Peeta’s physical strength, but not really his emotional strength. Same with the final train scene in the books, Peeta isn’t just sad and wistful like he is in the movie, he’s actually quite PO’d about Katniss’s actions.

        I also wish they’d kept the fight they have over whether Katniss will go to the feast, and show Katniss tricking and drugging Peeta, not just kissing him and waiting for him to fall asleep on his own. I think it shows Peeta’s strength in how he had to be knocked out and rendered physically incapable of resisting before he “let” Katniss risk her life for him. (And WOW, I just realized that SC probably meant there to be a boatload of foreshadowing about others who later trick and drug Peeta, which far less benign intentions.)

    2. I so heard the “one more time for the audience” in my head during the scene at the train station. In fact I mouthed it each time I saw the film. To me that scene is gut wrenching and beautifully done. With simple looks, you can see Katniss’ confusion as she stands smiling on the stage and then sees Gale. It’s like she’s waking up to reality again. And Peeta’s face when he sees that exchange…heartbreaking. sigh…I cry every time. And let’s rewind to the “Forget…” and “I don’t want to forget” lines….she wants to let go, and he doesn’t.

      Yes in a way it’s subtle, but in the books Katniss is confused on her feelings,(what is real and what is not), and I feel the film presented it that way as well.

  6. Oh, I so desperately wish they’d kept, “Come to finish me off, sweetheart?” Ugh, I know making movies is hard, but there are things I could have done better by adding, like, TWO lines of dialogue and maybe one extra scene.

    My hubby saw the movie with me and had not read the books. He did not catch on AT ALL that Katniss was fakin’ it. If anything, the “try to forget” thing comes off as Peeta not wanting to forget the Games, not wanting to act like nothing had happened and he wasn’t deeply affected. And the bread scene also went over hubby’s head. I saw the movie twice and thought it was lacking in those aspects.

    And bummer about the Avox. One of my favorite parts of the book was her tucking Katniss in.

  7. Thank you soooo much for putting my post up! I’m sort of fangirling that people are actually comparing my writing to all of yours. Thank you all for the great comments, too – and of course, and as always, you all have more feedback. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way, and of course, the flowerpot-cutting-Peeta’s-hand scene, the Avox, the lacking Bread scene, etc. I forgot to mention. Not to be partial, but it coulda played out a lot better. And I LOVE my intro, by the way – I am officially lovely! 🙂

  8. I don’t think the movie was that hardto I understand and i hadn’t read the book yet but they definitely could have added more of katniss awkwardness and THE PREP TEAM I love them they always make me laugh and they kind of show that all the people in the Capitol aren’t evil just misguided (and kind of dumb) hope more of them makes it into catching fire and they’ll need to somehow show that katniss and Peeta have been avoiding each other since the end of the games cause that shows katniss doesn’t really love Peeta.not yet anyway haha 🙂

  9. Good job, Katrina! Way to get the conversation going! I agree with many things that you said… loved Gary Ross but think there’s opportunity for the next film to be more clear. The way I look at it, he missed the forest for the trees. I think Gary got so caught up in some of the visual details (the pile at the Cornucopia must be 4 times bigger, the 400 extras must be Capitol perfect, the bread must be a certain look, etc) that he missed some of the obvious issues of bringing the books to the screen. 1) Katniss’ inner monologue. I’m sorry but I disagree with the decision to not include voice over. Katniss has such a strong voice; she sucks the readers into the story. Her inner thoughts are crucial. It was just MISSING in the movie.(sob!) 2) The dialogue in key relationships, namely Peeta and Katniss. Anyone watched the cave scene from Mainstay Productions? http://www.youtube.com/user/MainstayPro/videos?query=cave+scene It included the memory in total of Peeta watching Katniss sing as a child, how he was a goner, and Katniss saying “You don’t have much competition anywhere” before she kisses him. Now THAT gives us the MEAT! That gives a powerful dynamic and clarity that Jennifer Lawrence couldn’t give with a “Shhh” response to Peeta. These are complex characters, and we needed more of the scenes/dialogue to establish who they are, not just the action/plot of the movie. 3) Because some of those key dialogue scenes didn’t make it in the movie, Peeta suffered. I know of too many people who didn’t read the books and came out of the movie thinking Peeta was a wuss.(Sorry, Josh!) THIS IS NOT FAIR! I know this is my own anecdotal survey, but when I read fan comments, Peeta seems to be the favorite character for 50% of fans. Some even say he is their favorite male fictional character ever. And his Peeta-ness did not have the chance to shine on the screen. I think Josh can do the part… just give him the lines and scenes to work with. So my plea to Francis Lawrence for Catching Fire is PLEASE let us see Peeta give District 11 his “gift” and watch Katniss admire how he says the right thing at the right time. Please let Peeta rage at Katniss and Haymitch for leaving him out of the loop, so we see Peeta’s strength. Please let us watch how Katniss respects Peeta and feels close to him when he defies the Capitol in his own way/holds them accountable by painting Rue’s death scene. And fer cryin’ out loud, I beg of you to move our little hearts all over the place like a pinball as we watch their perfect day on the roof, Peeta’s heart stop, the beach scene, the pearl, etc. Remember, pinball… ding, ding, ding! Please?!

    1. Amen to this! The inner monologue takes up most of the book. It’s what entices you to read. I mean, who wants to read a story about doing things when you don’t hear the character’s thoughts and feelings, what they think about it all? Especially Katniss, as to the judgmental eye she can seem withdrawn and unattentive, when really she just likes to listen. Praying for all of your ideas to happen in Catching Fire. They’re crucial if we want something big, maybe even something like an Oscar! And besides, I want to be quiet during the movie so I can sob, instead of explaining everything to my friend. This is the one occasion I want my emotions to be, as you say, like a pinball!

    2. HGBC, I agree with everything you’re saying about Peeta’s characterization. CF really is the book where Katniss sees Peeta as a whole person and falls for that, not just the star-crossed lover persona they both have to play at. But I must vehemently disagree about the voice-over thing. Now, I must admit, while I found Katniss’s voice in the books to be compelling, at times I actually found it annoying, especially as the books progressed. That being said, I will find it to be a very poor artistic choice for CF to be filled with voice-overs, though I wouldn’t say all voice-over should be banned.

      I think that resorting to voice-over would be, for the most part, a copout on the part of the screenwriter. A really good movie can portray a character’s emotions without voice-over, and I think GR did this well for the most part. For example, the scene where Haymitch tells Katniss that Peeta has asked to be trained separately, or when Katniss first realizes that Peeta’s with the Careers. Jen-Law did a great job SHOWING her feeling of betrayal.

      Now, maybe you wanted that voice-over where she says she wants to see Peeta’s face up in the sky, but I’d have found it cheesy and distracting, and I bet movie-only viewers would have thought, “Huh? Why does she want to see his face in the sky? Oh, I guess that means he’d be dead, so she wants him dead? Oh, I guess that means she feels betrayed!” What works as part of the narration of a book, doesn’t always work as a random voice-over, unless the voice-over is constant, and then, we don’t have a movie, we have a “book on tape” with pictures.

      Gee, maybe I should e-mail an essay to VV as well about this tendency I’ve noticed with a lot of movie critique. It seems some fans here want the movie to be basically like a “books-on-tape” version of the story, and all they care about is having the movies include as much material from the books as possible. Every single scene, every single dialogue snippet, every single character. The movies are a totally different medium than the books, and even Suzanne Collins herself, who, you know, wrote part of the screenplay, has stated that she sees the movies as *complimenting* the books, not being a carbon copy of them. Now, I’m not saying there’s no place for voice-over at all. But excessive use of voice-over, I think, would really dumb down the movies.

      1. Satsuma, actually, I agree with several things that you’ve said. At this point, voice-over for Catching Fire would be downright silly. I think there’s a way Gary Ross could have included it judiciously to give us an anchor into Katniss’ thoughts; here’s what I mean and don’t mean by that… Some scenes in THG worked better with the “show, don’t tell” method, such as when Katniss is up in that tree with her leg burn and sees Peeta with the Careers, we feel her pain and the depth of her betrayal. Kudos! I think Jennifer Lawrence pulled it off visually with no other explanation needed. Or, with the scenes that Gary added to the movie, showing Haymitch working the Capitol crowd on Katniss’ behalf. Bravo!

        However, there are other times when I think the “show, don’t tell” method didn’t work, and the movie could have benefitted from voice-over, or some such device. What comes first to my mind is the fact that Katniss hates owing anybody anything, which is part of why Peeta’s actions with the bread are so confusing. Why? Why? We miss out on all those “why’s” rolling around Katniss’ brain. Why was Peeta kind to her? Why does Peeta’s father bring her cookies? Why did Peeta notice that she’s good with an arrow? Is he making fun of her? And all the other 100 accusations/confusion that lead Katniss to kiss the bruise on Peeta’s cheek. The second thing that comes to my mind is the fact that Katniss has made a vow to never be married or have children. HOW COULD THEY NOT INCLUDE THIS IN THE MOVIE? That is the reason for so many of Katniss’ decisions, that is why the “bomb” that Peeta drops on Caesar Flickerman is so devastating, that is why the ending/epilogue of Mockingjay is so powerful. And that vow is something that could never be “shown”, it would have to be told, even if it was told in dialogue, not voice-over.

        So if voice-over is not an option, it seems to me that dialogue is the next best choice. And Suzanne did write compelling dialogue… why not use it? I hear what you are saying about a movie being different from a book, and the movie needs to be more than a book on tape. But when it comes to the scenes with key dialogue, I have to think, “If it isn’t broke, why fix it?” For instance, that one conversation in District 11 between Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta could speak volumes about all three of their characters and the relationships between them… why not use it verbatim? It would clear up some of the ambiguity from THG.

        I agree with you that Peeta’s physical strength was shown in THG, but not his emotional strength. And even though I don’t think that The Hunger Games trilogy is JUST a romance, the romantic triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale is critical to the whole story, the whole plot. It drives the action in some very important ways in CF and MJ, so it should never be an afterthought to the movie, and it should be clear to audience.

  10. Well said! This is exactly what I was thinking whilst watching the film. Also, the whole Katniss-recontructed-ear-thing in Catching Fire and Peetas loss of leg could be a minor problem, but I guess they can work a way around that.
    I hope these pot holes get filled in!!!!

  11. HGBC: Answering you in a new post thread…it seems our opinions are closer than I thought! I should probably disclose that, for me, the voice-over technique was ruined somewhat by what I thought was its overuse in the Wonder Years; in some episodes,Adult Kevin’s voice got to be extemely annoying and intrusive, at least to me. Anyway, it seems you’re not wedded to voice-over as a technique, then, but you did want to hear more of Katniss’s voice. So, if, say, the movie had Katniss tell someone about her wish to avoid marriage and children, would you have been satisfied with that? Or if FLaw finds a way to put that in the beginning of CF, perhaps by tweaking the scene where Gale kisses her?

    As for Katniss questioning Peeta’s motives, I thought that the movie did show her to be doing that, really. But on the other hand, I did read the book before I saw the movie, and I can’t say what I’d have thought if I hadn’t. Since Peeta is shown as asking Katniss “why are you doing this”, maybe it would have worked to have Katniss turn that question back on him. I even recall an actual exchange in THG when Katniss *does* ask Peeta why, and he says, “You know why.” And that might have worked, I can see Josh saying this in a way that tells us he’s obviously thinking, “Because I love you, of course!”

    I agree with you that the dialogue SC provides in the books is often excellent, and I did feel the lack of it, especially when it comes to establishing Peeta as more than a lovesick quasi-stalker. It also seems that some of Katniss’s inner monologue could be converted to dialogue, such as when she thinks Peeta isn’t being fair to her by being upset that she faked her feelings, and she states that she can’t afford the kind of love that leads to marriage and babies. That could be converted into something she actually tells Peeta. The challenge is, though, to balance the need to know what Katniss is thinking, with the need to keep her In Character.

    Agree with you that I definitely want that scene with Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch in D11. Also, the THG and CF books make clear that Peeta is someone who is quite aware of the power of words, and indeed, uses words as his weapons, much more than a knife or other conventional weapon. Totally agree that what he says in that pre-QQ interview is meant to be a bomb going off. (Much like his rival, Gale, gets involved with designing more conventional bombs.)

    So by depriving Peeta of so many signature lines, the THG movie probably shortchanged Peeta’s character more than it would have, say, someone like Gale. I almost felt like Gale got more efficient use of his screentime than Peeta did; the movie sets up that he likely has romantic feelings for Katniss (something the book doesn’t, since K is either oblivious and/or in denial), and also his ruthless side when he compares hunting animals to hunting people.

    I agree with you that the romance can no longer be back-burnered in CF, especially considering that MJ deals mostly with the destruction of the K-P and K-G relationships, and how one is rebuilt, and the other not. So the relationships need to be firmly established by the end of CF. As well as the reason for Katniss having difficulty committing to either suitor; it’s much more than just being wishy-washy, it’s tied in to her fear of marriage and children.

    Also, one more aspect of the books that I felt the movie didn’t quite get across is the impact that losing her father, and essentially, her mother as well, had on Katniss. She learned very early on that “People you love will leave you.” (While Peeta learned that “People you love will hurt you.”) But I guess getting into child psychology and attachment theory is fodder for a whole different post.

    1. Satsuma, yes, I’m thinking you have enough thoughts here to submit your own guest post on Victor’s Village. From one fan to another, go for it! And you are welcome to come to my HGBC facebook page and talk shop anytime 🙂

      As far as your post above, yes, yes, and YES! I am not Team Voice-over, just Team Wanna Know What Katniss is Thinking. I like your idea of how Katniss’ inner monologue could be converted into dialogue: “such as when she thinks Peeta isn’t being fair to her by being upset that she faked her feelings, and she states that she can’t afford the kind of love that leads to marriage and babies. That could be converted into something she actually tells Peeta.” I think a conversation like that could naturally occur in the movie without taking Katniss out of her comfort zone. Also, I really like that imagery of Peeta setting of bombs with words and Gale doing it with conventional means. I hadn’t thought of that contrast in their characters in quite that way.

  12. okay.. so my friend here was right about a few things. Even though the movie was PERFECTLY acted and Ross did capture most of the book’s esence, he did leave out the most what for me was the most important thing, which was showing those non-readers how Katniss was faking her love for Peeta just to win the games. In my opinion, they could’ve easily explain it by putting the scene where Haymitch comes up to Katniss (while she’s with Peeta) and tells her to “keep up the act”, and Peeta finally understands that she was doing it all for the games. For me, that would’ve left the audience loving the movie even more, then again, what I think Francis will probably do with CF is explain it everything at the beginning of the movie, maybe give a flashback or two, but that he will explain it, he will explain it, cuz’ otherwise the non-readers wont understand any of the future interactions and references between Kat and Peeta (like the Real or Not Real debacle). So in my opinion, we, the immensily caring fans, shouldn’t worry that much about wether or not they will explain Katniss’ feelings towards Peeta in the first movie, because, for the sake of the upcoming movies, they literally have to.

    About the prep team, they did show them in the movie, even if it was only for a minute, but they did, so they did establish that she had a prep team, so I don’t think that showing how her prep team for the first games is really sad for her to go back in for a second time will be much of a problem. If they didn’t establish that her team somehow cared about her in the first movie they can in the second one, after all, it was in the 2nd book where Katniss realized how her team truly cared about her.

    And about the MJ pin, even though Madge is the one that gives it to her in the book, I think Ross made it a bit more meaningful by putting it the way he did. In the movie Katniss had first given it to Prim for her protection, and in a way, it did protect her, so when prim gave it back to her saying that she was now the one who needed that protection (and again, in a way, it did protect her) made it a lot more meaningful. Putting it like that didn’t change the meaning of the MJ pin at all, its still a token from her district and all the refrences about her dad and the Mockingjays are still to be discovered in the upcoming movies, so, as I said, the MJ pin being returned to her by Prim just gave it a little more feeling. About what happens at the major’s house, it was said in the books that Madge had always been some kind of friend (the only girl friend really) to Katniss in the past, even before she gave her that MJ pin, so I don’t think that showing that friendship and carefulness in CF will be a problem, Kat not being given the pin by Madge doesn’t really affect that.

  13. That was one of the things that really bugs me about the movie. It’s such a HUGE part of the story and what happens later in the story. It was one of the first things that I complained about after seeing the movie.

  14. It was completely unclear in the film, this article put that across brilliantly. The movie left out the end of the book where Peeta finds out the love in the Games wasn’t real for Katniss, so it just seems like she immediately just fell in love with him in the cave. That didn’t happen, and if I hadn’t read the books before I watched the movie, I probably would have hated it.

    A lot of things in the movie would only be understood if you had read the book, like tesserae, so if Lawrence can somehow manage to bring all the forgotten elements of The Hunger Games into the Catching Fire film without skimping off on Catching Fire’s details, I’ll be seriously impressed. I only hope they don’t confuse viewers more.

    Bottomline? Read the books before you watch the movie.

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