By the Book: Catching Fire Chapter 4
Today we bring you Part 4 of our special By the Book feature, where the Mockingjay.net staff analyzes ‘Catching Fire’ chapter by chapter. We share what scenes from each chapter we believe will make it into the movie, what our favorite lines are, and what we’re afraid might be cut from the film.
By the Book will contain SPOILERS for Catching Fire, so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want to know the story, stop reading right now!
In Chapter Four, Katniss spends a miserable morning with her prep team, yells at Effie during lunch, and then goes for a walk while the train is stopped. Peeta follows her and asks if they can be friends, then takes her back into the train and shows her the pictures he’s painted. They arrive District 11, the first stop on their Victory Tour, and have a ceremony outside the Justice Building. Peeta gives a speech, offering to give a portion of their winnings to Thresh and Rue’s familes, and then Katniss rushes forward and gives her own spur-of-the-moment speech. After she’s done, an old man whistles Rue’s four-note call and the crowd gives her the three-finger salutes. As Katniss and Peeta are going back into the building, the Peacekeepers pull the man who whistled onto the stage and shoot him in the head.
I think most of the Victory Tour will be a short montage of Katniss and Peeta in different districts, coupled with shots of the train traveling through different terrains. I’d like to see her get to spend time with the prep team, yell at Effie, and have that short conversation with Peeta about trying to be friends, but I don’t hold out much hope for them. And as much as I want to see Peeta’s paintings, I don’t believe anything about the Victor’s talents will make it into the script. Hopefully they’ll find some way to show Peeta’s paintings, but I won’t hold my breath. The only thing from this chapter that I think will actually make it into the movie is the scene in District 11, where Peeta gives his speech. I want him to offer a portion of his winnings to Rue and Thresh’s families, to see Rue’s little sisters, and for Katniss to rush forward and give her thanks. I love the line ʺAnd thank you for the breadʺ but unfortunately, since District 11 didn’t send her bread in the first movie, she won’t get to thank them for it here. I hope the old man still whistles Rue’s tune, and I want to see the horror on Katniss’ face as the whole District saluts her and she realizes that she’s only causing more trouble. When the Peacekeepers pull the old man on to the stage and shoot him, I want to see the confusion and disbelief in Peeta’s eyes and the guilt and terror in Katniss’. I think this is such an important scene, and I really hope they don’t just gloss over their stop in District 11.
Katniss: ʺThank you for your children.ʺ
Chapter 4 is a monster in terms of what’s included, Katniss and Peeta start to mend their relationship, the Victory Tour begins, we get our first real glimpses of another district and then of course there is the shooting in the District 11 square. Like Erin though I don’t hold out a lot of hope for all of these events making it to the big screen, particularly Peeta’s paintings as we discussed when we covered Chapter 3. I’d really like to see Katniss yell at Effie, as that showed the pressures on her, then have Peeta come and sit with Katniss beside the train tracks. That would be a great moment to give Peeta some good dialogue and show how strong he is as well, as the character really deserves this. I believe that the film makers can probably show most of what happens in District 11 and then gloss over the rest of the Victory Tour just as the book does, as its in District 11 where we see the heightened levels of unrest and that they really are on the verge of a rebellion. No doubt the speeches will be severely cut down, particularly Peeta’s, but I do hope that just as in the book Katniss will cry ʺwait!ʺ and say something about Rue and Thresh, then of course the pivotal line ʺthank you for your childrenʺ. I can imagine this moment being a real tear jerker, especially as then we see the old man whistle, the crowd saluting and the Peacekeepers grabbing their weapons, so I’m making an early call to pack the tissues!
Peeta: ʺThere’s nothing for you to be sorry about. You were just keeping us alive.ʺ
Katniss: ʺThank you for your children.ʺ
Like Erin, I think the Victory Tour will mostly consist of a montage with them doing scenes only in District 11 because of the background they did in the first movie, though I’m still a bit unsure on how much violence they’ll show this time around since technically this will no longer be about a group of kids being killed, but more about adults in the Arena and the start of a revolution. In order to do this I do think Peeta needs to make his gift, though the idea of the gift might shift to Katniss. I definitely think they’ll include the salute. As for the man being killed, they might simply make it so that we see what happens, but Katniss doesn’t. It’s possible Peeta’s paintings will make it in, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they scrapped it or focused on it back in Victor’s Village briefly rather than on the train.
It wasn’t a line technically, but I’d love to hear Katniss make a comment about her prep team and how they never get up before noon unless it’s a national emergency, ʺlike my leg hairʺ. That part seriously kills me!