Page to Screen is a new original feature I’m experimenting with where I talk about film adaptations of YA books.
This isn’t a review as such, more just my thoughts on the film.
I loved this installment of the film series, and I can understand why they split the book in two and ended it where they did. You really get a sense of Katniss’ helplessness. She was just trying to survive and all these people are using her for a rebellion she’s not prepared for. She’s really very brave to step up and be their Mockingjay. You really get the sense that she just wants to save Peeta but she’s being forced to jump through certain hoops to be able to do it.
There was one point in the film where I was afraid the writers would have changed something, so I was totally freaking out and crying because I thought someone was going to die. You can’t trust writers these days: the My Sister’s Keeper film has a completely different ending from the book. I really thought they were going to screw us over and kill this character, and I was so relieved when they didn’t.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the book but it felt like a faithful adaptation to me. Like in the first instalment, we got to see some behind-the-scenes stuff, conversations that Katniss wouldn’t be aware of, that helped explain to the audience what was at stake. That being said, my husband has read the first book but not Mockingjay, and he kept saying, “I really need to read the book now.” I’m not sure if it’s because he didn’t understand what was going on or if he enjoyed it so much he wanted to read about it.
I think Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss was amazing. She shows such emotion on her face and even though she’s naturally very beautiful she’s not afraid to be not-quite-so-pretty, and she pulls off Katniss’s personality perfectly. The small moments between her and Prim were cute to watch.
I also have underestimated Josh Hutcherson in the past. His portrayal of Peeta was heart-wrenching and he handled his emotions very well. I wondered if he knew what he was getting into when he was first cast as Peeta, as his role in the first film was kind of wooden, but he’s definitely proven himself to me. Other shout outs of course have to be to the actors portraying Gale, Finnick, and Prim, the old familiar face of Plutarch and new face President Coin.