Book v. Movie: Mockingjay Pt. 1 (Suzanne Collins)
Alright, I have finally seen Mockingjay Part 1. Yes, I know it's only been out for a few days. Still, I didn't make it on opening night, so I've been on edge waiting to go!
Obvious warning, this card will have spoilers!
First off, a mandatory rant. I am tired of Hollywood splitting movies that don't need split into two parts. I got it with Harry Potter, a lot happened. Twilight? Not so much. The Hobbit? Come on! I get that it's a great money making scheme, and in some cases it totally works well, but they need to consider that we don't want to have to wait like this anymore! That being said, maybe they have a good reason for it this time. I'll have to wait until Part 2 comes out to really pass judgement on that! Rant over.
On we go to the movie: overall, I enjoyed it. It wasn't edge of my seat action, nor did my heart race like it did during the first or second films, but I was engrossed. The only times I found myself looking away from the screen were when the massive amount of death left behind in District 12 made it on screen, because that was hard to watch. It was shot beautifully (especially the second propaganda film for the Mockingjay! It was really, really nice). I also loved the soundtrack. It was definitely a slow movie, but it accomplished it's goal at putting us in the mind of someone caught between heroism, revolution and grief.
How does it match up to the book? At a glance, pretty well. Sure, it felt like this movie only covered the first 1/4 of the book (I know this is wrong, but I remember Peeta being rescued much, much sooner, and Coin doing it for very different reasons. Coin did a lot of things for different reasons...
First off, Effie was in District 13 in the movie. In the books, Effie was not there! Instead, 13 had kidnapped her prep team (minus Effie) to make Katniss shine. I really enjoyed having her there: since the goal of this movie seemed to be to focus on the changes happening in Katniss, bringing in characters we didn't get to know that well in the other movies would have seriously distracted. I approve this choice!
Second, Finnick is barely around, which makes me think that those who haven't read the books (stop reading now if that's you) won't be nearly as affected (I'm warning you!) about his death in the final part. Or maybe he's not going to die? I'm not sure about this one.
Lastly, Katniss doesn't demand to kill Snow, which was one of her demands in the book when she agreed to become the Mockingjay. In the final part of the book (more spoilers for you non-book readers), Katniss ultimately chooses to kill Coin rather than Snow, so the fact that this was left out of this movie makes me wonder what the plan is for the final movie: is the controversial ending going to change? Coin is a very different, much less controlling character in the film, and we learn a lot more about her in the book than we do the movie, kind of opposite to how we are seeing more of Snow than we do in a book that is told in Katniss's point of view. I'm not sure who to like, or dislike, at this point.
I have a lot of theories regarding what the changes in the movies to date might cause to change in the conclusion of the series, but I think I'll save that for another card :) These weren't the only changes: we also got to see more of Gale in action that we didn't get to see of in the book, and Coin altogether seems much, much nicer in this film than in the book!
If you're a fan of the series, I definitely recommend seeing the movie, if only to pop and chat with me about your theories for why these changes were made!