The poster for the first part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay is here and it is EPIC! The emblem of the mockingjay with it’s wings spread out was first seen at the ending of Catching Fire, as Katniss closed her eyes and the screen faded to black … throwing fans into an oblivion and an endless wait for the next installment of the hit series. The sequel is currently being filmed back-to-back with Part 2, the final installment of the franchise. Part 1 is out this November 21 and Part 2 is out November 20, 2015. Check out the COOL poster below –
Apart from the returning cast of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, Willow Shields (and others), there are new cast members joining the ranks like Julianne Moore as President Coin, Natalie Dormer as Cressida, Stef Dawson as Annie Cresta and Robert Knepper as Antonius, a character created exclusively for the film.
How excited are you for Mockingjay?
I know, I know, the film’s been out for two weeks all over the world, but India was a little late to catch the fire. Thankfully, it did, however late, but it did, and I was there at the cinema, ready at 9 AM to catch the first show of the morning and feel the goosebumps take over me! So what better way to relive the film than making note of all the top gooseflesh inducing moments, the moments that made you cry, made you smile, made you want to fist pump the air and the moments that made your jaws drop and made you want to do the three finger salute in solidarity with the characters.
[Warning: Book and Film SPOILERS ahead, tread with caution.]
1. The start of the film
Catching Fire begins with Katniss out in the woods as Gale comes up to her. She displays PTSD when she tries to hunt a bird and sees her arrow killing Marvel (tribute from the previous film) instead. Gale kisses Katniss as they return home. Katniss then visits Haymitch and wakes him up by pouring water on him (or in Haymitch’s words – by giving him pneumonia) as Peeta enters. Katniss then returns to her home where she finds President Snow in her study, who warns her of the consequences of hers actions.
Goosebumps factors – The scenes, the sequence of events and even the dialogue mirror the start of the book and the film sets off with a bang, telling the audience that this will indeed be a faithful adaptation.
2. The Tour Montage
Peeta and Katniss set off for their Victory tour and the first stop is District 11, where Katniss gets emotional after seeing Rue’s family. An older gentleman in the crowd then sings the mockingjay tune and raises his three fingers in salute which results in mayhem as the Peacekeepers drag the man out and shoot him, leaving Peeta and Katniss in absolute shock. The rest of the tour goes on with both Peeta and Katniss only reading from Effie’s prepared speeches as the scenes cut in between to show the growing dissent and Katniss getting nightmares on the train journeys.
Goosebumps factor – The scene in District 11 really gives the audience an indication of the dystopian setting of the world and how cruel and unjust the government is. The man’s shooting and Jennifer Lawrence’s subsequent trembling and fear make you cry out, literally, from all the emotions. The montage builds up the chaos of rebellion and really sets up the audience to hope for change.
3. Gale’s whipping
Katniss tries to convince Gale to run away with their families because of the unrest and impending threat, but with whispers of a rebellion brewing, Gale wants to stay and fight. At the same time, Peacekeeper forces enter District 12 and carry out raids, shutting down the Hob and rounding off anyone they think is dealing in illegal activities. Gale tackles a Peacekeeper, which earns him a whipping at the hands of Chief Peacekeeper Thread. Katniss, Haymitch and Peeta save Gale and take him back to Katniss’ home where a composed Prim takes over to heal him.
Goosebumps factor – Seeing any one receive a thrashing, especially at the hands of the Capitol is enough to evoke emotions from the audience, but when that person is our beloved Gale, it hurts even more. Katniss’ defiance was inacted perfectly by Jennifer Lawrence and made me want to fist pump the air and cheer our heroes on to take out the nasty Capitol. This scene still gives me goosebumps, even when I’m watching it in the trailer.
4. The Reaping
Just when you thought you were safe and sound the Capitol intervenes and wants to take you out. Even Effie gets emotional at the reaping as she puts her hand into the bowl to select the lone female tribute. Katniss and Peeta are whisked away as Prim calls out. Katniss doesn’t get a chance to say goodbye and she knows she’ll never see her family again.
Goosebumps factor – The thought that you have to walk into the jaws of death and never even get to say goodbye to the family you are leaving behind. I’m shaking here thinking about it.
5. The Old Victors become the New Tributes
The new tributes are introduced and the gorgeous and charming Finnick Odair (played to perfection by Sam Claflin) enters the screen and steals the show, as he offers Katniss a sugar cube. Johanna Mason (again played so well by Jena Malone) catches Haymitch, Katniss and Peeta in the elevator where she strips down to her bare essentials without raising an eyebrow. We meet the other tributes and watch them show off their strengths in the training center and voice their anger in the interviews. Finally, after seeing Katniss transform into a mockingjay, the tributes hold hands together in a show of camaraderie.
Goosebumps factors – You know you are only fooling yourself if you think Finnick’s appearance on screen didn’t make you swoon and raise your pulse. Katniss’ expressions when Chaff kisses her and when Johanna strips down in the elevator are priceless. The show of unison between the victors makes you want them to murder President Snow right then. The interview scenes with Peeta’s painting of Rue, which leads to an angry Katniss putting up an effigy of a dead man with the name “Seneca Crane” written on it, is chilling. Finally the moments when Caesar Flickerman is on screen, those are always awesome.
6. The Build-Up
Even before we enter the arena for the 75th Hunger Games, we have a few moments which are downright emotional and heartbreaking. Katniss and Peeta spend a few private moments together, now that they are friends and trust each other completely. Effie hugs Peeta and Katniss and gets upset when she says her goodbyes, Haymitch reminds Katniss of the real enemy and Cinna gets beaten up savagely as a helpless Katniss looks on from inside the capsule.
Goosebump factor – It’s the big send off to the death and everyone knows it, but no one can say it. Also, it is the last time we see Cinna, sobbing here you guys, sobbing uncontrollably.
7. The Arena
Once in the arena, new dangers emerge, allies are formed and sacrifices are made. Danger strikes again and again, in the forms of poisonous fog, scary monkey mutts, lightening, giant waves, blood rain, jabberjays and the career tributes. When Peeta hits the force field and loses consciousness, Finnick revives him as a desperate Katniss cries on, and when he collapses after the fog touches him, Mags throws herself into the fog so Finnick can carry him. They run into Johanna, Beetee and Wiress, whose constant mutter of “tick tock” makes Katniss realise that the arena is a clock and all the disasters happen at given times. Beetee then devises a plan to electrocute the other career tributes as Katniss grows weary of the three tagging along with her and Peeta.
Goosebump factors – The entire arena sequence, I’d say. The action is continuous and something or the other is constantly happening, propelling the film toward it’s climax. Noteworthy scenes include Mags’ sacrifice, a frantic Finnick saving Peter, “Tick Tock” and the moment when the cornucopia island spins to reset the clock, as they all hang on for life. A particularly heartwarming moment occurs when Peeta gives Katniss his locket which contains photographs of her mother, sister and Gale. They share an emotional conversation and a passionate kiss. These scenes were straight out of the book folks and filmed to perfection.
8. The Climax
As Beetee devises his plan and covers the lightening tree with his wire, he directs Katniss and Johanna to take the connecting thread to the beach and wants Peeta and Finnick to protect him. Katniss protests but leaves with Johanna and book readers soon realise that her last glimpse of Peeta is our last glimpse of him in this film. Things go wrong as Brutus and Enobaria emerge on the tails of the two girls and Johanna hits Katniss, taking out her tracking device. Katniss goes out to look for Peeta and finds an unconscious Beetee. She turns her bow and arrow on Finnick who reminds her of the real enemy, echoing Haymitch’s words and then the world comes crashing down.
Goosebumps factor – The epic moment when Katniss has her bow and arrow set on Finnick and he’s reminding her of the real enemy with President Snow watching them from the Control Room. Our hearts stop beating for a moment until Katniss finally takes out the force field enclosing the arena and gets blasted off her feet.
9. The Ending
When Katniss wakes up in the Hovercraft and discovers the true nature of the rebellion, she attacks Haymitch, calling him a liar as she learns that he failed to keep his promise to her and protect Peeta, who is now in the Capitol. The last scene of the film has Katniss wake up to Gale who tells her that District 12 was destroyed and they are now in District 13. Katniss becomes disheartened and then determined as she stares into the camera and the lights fade.
Goosebump factor – When Katniss is staring into the camera, her eyes burn with rage and fire as the screen fades to black. The mockingjay symbol then comes alive in preparation for the next film.
10. The music, the performances, the production
The book was pretty epic, so we all knew that if the film is faithful, it would be pretty epic too. But the ingredients that contribute to really giving you goosebumps all over, to make you cry and laugh and weep with joy or tremble in fear are things like the brilliant acting, the music score running in the background, the production values and Catching Fire achieves this all with a stellar cast, a beautiful score by James Newton Howard and great direction with Francis Lawrence, new to the franchise and who is also directing the final two Mockingjay films.
Catching Fire makes book fans believe that it is absolutely possible to make films that honour the books by being faithful to them. This is a particularly interesting point since most of the recent book adaptations that have been released have failed to make an impression and this has been attributed to the fact that they do veer off course of the material in the book. It’s really simple for filmmakers – if they want a hit film on their hands, they need to stay true to the books with all the moments, scenes and dialogues.
With Catching Fire ending in a cliffhanger, many fans will surely turn to the books to find out what happens next. For the big screen version, the wait is a little longer, as the first installment of Mockingjay is due for release on November 21, 2014.
(Images from tumblr are linked to their source tumblr pages)
What did you think of Catching Fire?
The London premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire took place on the star-studded night of November 11, 2013 in London’s Leicester Square! The event was attended by stars Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Willow Shields, Jena Malone and Jeffrey Right along with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson. Fans waited for as long as thirty hours and more, battling the London rain and November chill to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars.
However, if like us you live elsewhere on this enormously large planet, then there was no need to worry, for Yahoo! Movies brought us the stream of the entire event including interviews with the cast members. You can catch a replay of the stream below.
Take a look at these screencaps from the stream!
Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen) spoke about all the fun they have on set and looking up to Jennifer Lawrence, who is such an inspiration.
Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) spoke about enjoying playing the same character again, who he says is really fun to play on screen. He also spoke about the bizarre look which suited him and how everyone has a soft spot for Katniss.
Jena Malone (Johanna Mason) arrived looking lovely. She spoke about playing her character and how she had to dial it down at night because Johanna is a little violent. She also shared that she read the trilogy in 48 hours before her audition.
Donald Sutherland (President Snow) arrived, feeling very cold, as he told the presenter. He also said that he thinks President Snow is a wonderful, lovely man and as a ruler of a country, he has to be pragmatic.
Jeffrey Wright (Beetee) spoke about how amazing the film has turned out and about his character’s interesting tricks in the film, describing Beetee as a thinker. He also praised Jennifer Lawrence and the fun banter with Jen and Josh on set, especially the lack of egos.
Producer Nina Jacobson spoke about how the new director understood the material and how the ”essence” of the character is more important that the looks while casting. She also spoke about how this film expands from District 12 to the Capitol, the other districts of Panem and to the arena, as well as the fact that this film is about understanding who the enemies and allies are. She also shared the following –
Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) came into the ”arena” and stole the show! She thanked fans and spoke about her character, used the word ”fierce” and said that the most emotional scene in this film was the one at the Reaping when they take Katniss away and she isn’t allowed to meet her family.
Director Francis Lawrence spoke about how it was important to film in real world locations to bring that real world feel to the film, including shooting arena scenes in Hawaii. He also revealed that Jennifer is usually the target of pranks and that most pranks are pulled by Josh.
Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne) spoke about Gale and described him as a noble guy who is trying to protect Katniss. He also said the Gale was passionate and caring about his family, characteristics that he liked in his character. About the whipping scene, he said that though it was a soft object, it did start to hurt after many takes. He also revealed that along with Josh and Jen, he becomes a maniac on set.
Sam Claflin (Finnick Odair) attended the event with his wife Laura and got cheeky during the interview. He thanked all fans who had been camped all night and offered them a sugarcube! Oh Sam!! He joked about his preparation for the auditions, teasing that he practiced carrying his grandmother on his back for six months and showed up with her to his auditions and then offered them a sugarcube, and then stripped down his clothing, only wearing a knot. When the presenter added ”nothing but a sugarcube”, Sam added ”well, a packet of sugarcube”!! Haha Sam, you cheeky little thing!
Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark) thanked fans for the support and the energy they provide. Josh revealed that he fell in love with Peeta’s arc when he read the book, seeing that he goes from being a baker to being a victor and then going on to being used by the Capitol and dealing with the trauma. Josh also said that he admired the fact that Peeta was a loyal person not only to other people but also to his own ideals and he strives to be like that in real life.
Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket) said that Katniss Everdeen was a young role model who everyone could root for and the film also provides an escape. She spoke about the evolution of the character in Catching Fire and how her maternal instincts kick in when she gets two victors and takes care of them. She also spoke about how Suzanne Collins created such an amazing over the top look for Effie and how Effie is nothing without her wardrobe. The actress wore a Jason Wu dress and looked gorgeous.
Also, how amazing are these fans and the atmosphere at Leicester Square? PRETTY AWESOME!
The film releases on the weekend of November 20-22, 2013 in UK, USA, Australia, most European countries, Taiwan, South Africa and on the weekend of November 27-28, 2013 in India, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, etc. For a full list of release dates, check out IMDB.
Also check out our reactions at the latest Catching Fire trailer!