*Contains spoilers from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire*
The initial excitement of 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' has now started to calm down a little and, after a spectacular opening weekend, fans of the series can now look forward to what will be coming next - the story of Mockingjay, which, though one book, will be filmed in two parts.
Many fans of the books didn't know what to make of Mockingjay, the third in the series and one which has a very different tone to the first two. The action is still there but it is not nearly as constant this time around as Katniss and her cohorts acclimatise to life in District 13 and prepare to take on the Capitol. There is a lot more planning and sitting around in meetings, and plenty of Katniss having a total mental collapse.
Personally, I found the story very brave and I believe the fact that Suzanne Collins devoted so much time to the mental fragility of Katniss Everdeen should be greatly commended. Of course, quite how this will convert to the big screen remains to be seen. With that in mind, it seems a strange decision to split the story over two films as fans of the first two films may find the change of tone a little jarring. I know Jennifer Lawrence is simply breath-taking in the role of Katniss but even she may struggle to keep viewers engrossed for that long. Imagine an hour dedicated to her having a meltdown and drifting in and out of dream and reality, not knowing which of her memories are real and which are not. Up to this point, her deteriorating mental state has been shown beautifully but I fear this may not work as well for Mockingjay.
Though the story still has plenty of drama and action, most of it is packed into the second half, meaning that the more dramatic and action-packed of the two films is sure to be the second. The focus of the first half of the book (and probably the first film) is that of Katniss being roped into becoming The Mockingjay and all the issues this presents. She reluctantly agrees to take part in some promotional videos which will be beamed across the many districts but - as is so often the case for Katniss - they do not always go to plan.
When 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' drew to a close, we learned that 'there is no District 12' and that Peeta and Johanna had been captured by the Capitol. Though this is still Katniss's story, we will get to see more of many of the characters we have grown to love (or hate) including the delightfully awful Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and some new characters too. We will also find out what has happened to Peeta and Johanna and see if Katniss has enough strength left to really become the Mockingjay the citizens of Panem need.
Amanda Keats is an adaptations geek who wants to be friends with Katniss Everdeen and Ron Weasley and adores the two authors who brought them and their worlds to life. Sadly, she would probably not last long in a Hunger Games scenario. Follow Amanda Keats on Twitter and Facebook.
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