As the New Year’s Eve dawns, we look back at The Hunger Games movie and pick up our 12 favorite scenes and give a run-down on them, before ushering in the year of Catching Fire. It’s pretty hard to narrow down the list but here’s what we think contains the essence of the first movie:
12. The Capitol
Like we’ve always emphasized, the Capitol was a make it or break it point for the franchise. But Panem’s essentially brainwashed capital looks fantastic on screen and tipped the point in favor. We loved the look of the citizen, the city square, the parade and the general atmosphere of the city.
11. Katniss and Foxface coming face to face
Foxface is one of the most interesting supporting characters in the first book, and we were so glad she got her share of screen time with Jackie Emerson doing her complete justice. Especially this scene when Foxface and Katniss come face to face but are only startled, realizing that neither really belongs in a fight to the death. It brings out poignantly the fact that while we’re dealing with Katniss, these tributes have feelings, fears and troubles of their own.
10. Peeta’s Confession and Katniss’s Outburst
Peeta Mellark’s confession of being in love with Katniss, and the latter’s outburst is the start of the star-crossed lovers plot in the book which clearly exhibits how reality TV sells emotions to public. But more than that, it is Peeta’s moving words that bring out his character as a lover, a rarity in the world of literature to have a hero not be a warrior but a lover.
09. Thresh leaving Katniss unharmed at the feast
In a manner reminiscent of Foxface and Katniss coming face-to-face, here we have Thresh, one of the surprisingly strong contenders from a non-Career District, leaving a strong competitor unharmed “for Rue”. A single gesture, and Dayo Okeniyi’s only dialogue in the movie, conveys a lot. This leaves us wondering, what would Thresh and Rue have done if they were the last tributes standing?
08. The cave scene
The cave! Katniss and Peeta! The kiss!
Now that we’re done with that, the scene is significant for another reason: Peeta stalked Katniss for years. We’re not sure how lovey-dovey that sounds, but his speech about Katniss’s singing is swoon-worthy, a guy who loves a girl’s beautiful if not acknowledged talent, grit, strength. As always, the best part of Peeta Mellark is his ability with words.
Did any of you think of his stalking, or is that just our over-zeal that has nearly wrecked this scene?
07. “That is Mahogany!”
While every scene with the absolutely delightful Elizabeth Banks was near perfection, this takes the cake. It was a great inside-joke for the fandom, which has spawned bazillions of memes. Elizabeth as Effie is one of the highlights of the entire movie.
06. Rue’s death and District 11’s Uprising
The one single moment of this book that changes everything in Panem. Call Rue’s death poetic, heart-wrenching or any sort of glory – she was a kid who was killed by tyrants. There was nothing heroic about it and that is what catalyzes the utter despair in Katniss, and in turn, makes the citizens of District 11 go full out in revolt. This was a great addition to the movie, building up the franchise.
05. “Thank you for your consideration”
Katniss is a badass and she makes sure the Gamemakers know that. A young girl, who is there not out of her own will, is angry and she tells them that in the best possible way. As Haymitch says, there’s nothing more they can do to Katniss anyway.
04. Seneca Crane and President Snow talking about hope
Another intriguing addition to the movies was a little background action, where we saw how things were shaping up for the Games and the helpless tributes. We get an insight into the tyrant’s mind when he mentions that they need the districts for coal, minerals, “things we need”, we also see the brainwashed Seneca Crane who has only been in the Capitol and is unaware of the reality of the world.
And not to mention, the iconic statement of the movie, “Hope, it is the only thing stronger than fear.”
03. Peeta and Katniss raise up their hands at the parade
A very dramatic scene with the excellent score, this is definitely one of the defining moments for Katniss. We know Peeta has a charm, and a cool confidence while dealing with people but Katniss, for the first time, sees people responding to her. She recollects herself and in Caesar Flickerman’s words, shows the Capitol that they are “proud [they] come from District 12 and will not be overlooked.”
02. President Snow Inside the Control Room
A befitting, chilling finale to the already so action-packed movie, we have President Snow in deep thought as he looks at the Girl on Fire back in her district being hailed as a hero, along with her fellow winner Peeta Mellark. As he turns and leaves to the equally menacing tune of Arcade Fire’s Abraham’s Daughter, we know we can’t wait for the next installment!
01. Katniss Volunteering for Prim
And finally, our number one moment from the movie. While it’s true that all of the preceding scenes are as awesome, this one was a marvel. Jennifer Lawrence and young Willow Shields brought the scene to life with their spot-on acting, and the general ambiance of District 12 haunts till date. We’re sure all of you faced a barrage emotions when Katniss screams, “I volunteer! I volunteer as Tribute” as Prim screams deafeningly.
And an honorable mention for one of the fandom’s favorite character (and his beard) who, unfortunately, will not be making it to the next movie, Seneca Crane:
What was your favorite scene from the movie?