The Mockingjay Treatment
Another day, and also it’s another day without any Mockingjay news to speak of. Or, no legitimate Mockingjay news, because if you know me, you know I’d prefer to not give paparazzi shots, or trumped-up rumors that much credence, or any modicum of my precious time. So, what’s there to discuss today if there’s nothing Mockingjay related happening in our little corner of the world? Um, well how about we pick up where JJ took off yesterday, yep– where she ripped the concept, and the news that the last book in the Divergent series is too, just like Harry Potter, and Twilight, and The Hunger Games– is being split into two films as opposed to one. Let’s pretend we’re living in an alternate universe for a second or two? And in this world The Hunger Games franchise is going just as well as it has been, but instead of splitting the last installment of the book series into two, that they’re keeping it a singular film?
What would a single film for Mockingjay be like? That’s where my mind’s at right now. When the news broke years ago that Mockingjay was getting the Harry Potter/ Twilight treatment I disapproved, I said it was about making more money not about the story. However I came around, and now I’m struck thinking what would happen to the story of Mockingjay if it was adapted as one film? The word that comes to
mind first is the word “truncated”. I know how I’ve felt before when seeing favorite novels of mine adapted into film, and seemingly half the story is missing. I’m serious, I can think of two great novels where the film adaptations quite literally left out entire, great, all-encompassing chunks of the story. For Example: East of Eden, the 1955 adaptation directed by Elia Kazan. It’s touted as a masterpiece, as well as being one of the three films James Dean starred in before his untimely death at 25. What’s missing though is the disheartening fact that the film starts the story’s original narrative in the last third of the story. Yep, they started the film at the back end of the story, and did they backtrack and fill in the gaps? Not really, nope. Second example I can think of I’m actually happy to state that I’m happy with: The Cider House Rules (1999), is a gem of a book to film adaptation, not only because the film stays true to the novel it’s based on, but because the essence of it, even though entire sequences, years even of the story are cut– but, because it worked. Why I think it worked though is this: The screenplay was adapted and written by John Irving, the man who wrote the novel The Cider House Rules. Aye there’s the rub.
Truncated is the word we’re still fixated on, got it? East of Eden and Cider House Rules are perfect examples in my opinion, of films adapted from great novels that used the editing process to both enhance, and well– alter a story to the unfortunate point of dilution. Mockingjay if it was made into a singular film adaptation I feel in my heart of hearts would suffer the poor treatment of East of Eden, edited to the point of scant recognition. What would be taken away though? First, and the most sad– Buttercup. I believe Buttercup would be cut out of the story almost completely. And judging from all the tweeting the executive producer, Nina Jacobson has been doing featuring the cat portraying Buttercup– his being cut would leave us as a fandom with even less to grasp onto during this news drought. Second: Say good-bye to possibly another one of Katniss’ friends being omitted! Who would it be though? Delly’s probably cut anyway, and Madge is a ghost, or Taylor Swift, that leaves someone from the Capitol! Flavius? Octavia? Venia? Well, Venia may have been cut anyway, and I don’t think we’re going to cry into our cereal over that, are we? Are we?! Hm, what else? Welp, I think realistically the world building would go out the window? I mean sure, there would be some– but it would be very loose, and not wide and expansive. I basically think we’d get the same amount of world building that we got in The Hunger Games, and then go on our merry disgruntled way wishing there was just, well… more. Thank god we’re getting two films, all’s I’m saying.
Now, someone pitch East of Eden to HBO so we can get a mini series out of that masterpiece of a novel, and cast someone hot like Timothy Olyphant as Adam Trask!
Them There Eyes