Dear Katniss,

First of all, I loved the film. Is that rude to say? I don’t want to trivialize your struggle with the Capitol, and I’d hate it if you thought I was trying to be a jerk, but, like — wow! Sincerely! It was incredibly bleak — I mean, you know that — and I’m still a bit confused about how it came to be such a hit with young adults, but I really enjoyed watching it! The first movie was all right, too (I watched it on Netflix, which was much different than seeing it on The Big Screen, ha-ha), but this one seemed like it took itself much more seriously, and was better for it. What was your favorite part? (Again, not trying to trivialize, I’m sure it was all terrible!!!) Probably the kissing, right? Ha-ha. Or do you not like the kissing? You’re a little bit hard to read sometimes. You seemed to enjoy the kissing in the moment, but also you said the thing about not having any room to feel anything for Gale, but maybe if you guys ran away to the woods you could make some room? So. Speaking of Gale:

Why do you like Gale? Or, do you even? You always count Gale as someone for whom you want to live, but you guys seem to have a pretty limited relationship. Do you even know that much about him? I definitely get that he is handsome, but there are probably LOTS of handsome guys in the districts, and maybe even some who could break the hard shell you keep around your heart. (PS: How does he know what Catnip is? I’ve always wanted to ask you — how far in the future are you? Certainly Catnip mustn’t have been around in your lifetime or your parents’, right? Did he read it in a book? Do books exist where you are? Ahh, I have so many questions!!) I’m sure that as you age you’re going to want more in a partner than someone with whom you can hunt silently, right? Or no? You tell me! I’m just saying — maybe don’t put all of your eggs in the Gale basket. Though, I guess really your eggs are spread between two baskets at the moment, which brings me to my next question:

Why did you want to risk your life for Peeta in the Quarter Quell? Because he’s nice to you? GIRL. You already saved that guy’s life one time! Remember at the end of the last Hunger Games, when you came up with the suicide bluff? He’s really nice and he cares about you a lot. I get that you developed some real feelings for him, and you probably feel bad for not returning his romantic feelings, (he sure never forgets to make you feel bad about it, by the way), but you shouldn’t feel the need to give him anything. It’s not your fault that you don’t have feelings for him. It’s not your fault that he’s head-over-heels for you, enough that he wants to sacrifice his own life. You know when Haymitch says that you wouldn’t deserve his love, not in a million lifetimes? That is bullshit, Katniss! YOU’RE ALLOWED TO FEEL WHAT YOU FEEL!

So, this was the third Quarter Quell. Everyone should have seen it coming, right? Did you not know about it? Why did Snow act like it was a tactic to murder you when it was also just a thing that happened every 25 years, and now was the time for it? I just thought that was weird.

When Cinna was killed in front of you (I’m so sorry, by the way) before you were raised into the Quarter Quell battlefield, did you feel like Katy Perry at that moment in her documentary where she is crying on the section of stage that’s about to raise up, but then right before she has to go onstage she stops crying and puts on a brave, happy face? It was kind of like that!!! I mean, worse, obviously. Katy Perry was just sad about getting a divorce from Russell Brand, I’m not trying to compare the two things. It was just kind of like that. Have you seen that movie?

Anyway, you’re so brave. I’m sorry about District 12, but I do think that you understand that this all has to be done for the greater good of your people. You’re going to go on to do great things, and I can’t wait to watch them in the third movie!

I love you,

Kelly

Comments (57)
  1. I’m less bothered by Gale knowing what catnip is than I am by the fact that Effie somehow owns multiple pre-devastating-war-that-destroyed-everything-except-i-guess-fashion Alexander McQueen dresses.

  2. You know what’s a more exciting game than the Hunger game? The fantasy football game wherein my victory against Chris Trash is all but certain. And it’s happening RIGHT NOW! This is not the last time I will bring this up a propos of nothing.

  3. Catnip sounds like Katniss.

    • Catnip is also a really aggressive variety of the mint family. And if my experience with lemon balm and catnip is indicative of that plants ability to thrive in various climates, even when aggressively weeded for hours at a time and with roots dug up and tossed, catnip and lemon balm will outlive us all.

  4. Yay a movie club that I watched!! So I don’t know if your questions to Katniss are rhetorical or not, but since it might take some time for her to get back to you, you know trying to overthrow the Capital and all, I thought I’d just answer one:

    The Quarter Quells come every 25 years, but they are different every time. The first one the people in the districts had to vote for their tribute. The second one each district had to send in 2 girls and 2 guys, and is also the one that Woody Harrelson won. And then this one, where Katniss had to go back.

    Anyway otherwise LOVED the movie! Just very very good, A+

  5. Can we walk about how everyone in futuristic dystopias has really great boots? I want Katniss’s boots. And maybe Peeta’s. Just saying, when the apocalypse finally comes, we’re all going to look super cool, according to movies.

    • (I just got new boots in the mail. New snow boots. They are very big and very heavy and very warm. I can’t wait to crash around in the snow in them. I just wanted to tell someone about my boots.)

    • the dress that she wore on the chariot? I would definitely take part in the Hunger Games if it meant I got to wear a dress like that because it was killer.

  6. So here’s a thing that bugs me about the Hungry Games.

    The people of Panem are being starved under the oppressive regime in the Capitol. At the same time, the Capitol is in possession of fabulously advanced technology that would almost certainly allow them to, say, produce more than enough food for everyone. There’s seemingly nothing they can’t conjure on a whim, so you’d think that hearty genetically modified crops (not to mention genetically modified livestock) would be no big deal. So…

    Why are they oppressing the people of Panem?!? Resources? It doesn’t seem like they really need to do it! As far as I can tell, they’re just sort of evil for Evil’s sake, which is a really fucking dumb motive to hang your entire franchise on.

    • Now imagine Panem is the USA.

      • But that’s the thing – there’s not actually one governing entity that has oppression for its own sake as a motivating factor that operates with unfettered power in the USA. The concentration of resources in our country is more a function of corporatism than anything else, and that seems to be entirely absent in Panem. As far as anyone can tell from reading the books, the state controls all the resources and for some reason just really wants to stick it to the people. They for some reason have decided that child combat is a more effective means of suppressing revolution than just providing a basic standard of living through their near-magical technology.

    • It is odd that in Districts 11 and 12 they have people picking crops and going into the mines. Can’t they have robots do it?

      But it’s not all the people in Panem who are being starved, mainly Districts 11 and 12. Other Districts have it fairly bad, but not as bad. And the volunteer tribute Districts (1 and 2) are exceedingly wealthy which is why those tributes usually win.

      /nerd

    • I think they split up the means of production so that no one can unionize and rebel against the Mitt Romneys of the Capitol. The books always read like a child’s first allegory to the inherent dangers of unfettered, unchecked capitalism with massive government regulation…

      #RONPAUL2012

    • It sort of reminds a bit of people asking questions about stuff like the replicator from Star Trek, or other kind of technology. Just because the technology exists, doesn’t mean it’s cost effective or can easily be mass produced. Stuff used in the games can easily be compared to stuff used in the military or in space exploration, etc. It may be very expensive, but they don’t need a lot, AND it’s use sort of pays for itself in terms of reduction in spending on the peacekeeping/policing that the games are supposed to provide, not to mention there seems to be some kind of economy, at least in the Capital, and the games, like Olympic games, are likely a loss leader that benefits various things in the Capital.

      Is there a reason that in the current world, high tech farming equipment isn’t sent to third world countries? Of course, you do run into the limiting factor that machines doing your work means oil and gas, it’s quite possible that there are some resource problems in PanEm. The fact that District 12 is a coal mining district does imply that they are still heavily reliant on that.

      Part of the oppression concept is likely that, if everyone was reasonably well off, very few people would choose to do jobs like mining, which are likely quite important for their economy.

      It may be a bit of a blunt analogy, but it sort of reflects the whole class system of needing to keep people on the bottom in order for a few to stay comfortable at the top. The ‘problem’ of the society is the only upward mobility is through the games. So they can show off exceptionalism on TV, while having nearly everyone else stuck in the exact same spot they were born into.

  7. I enjoyed this movie very much, but I gotta defend my boy Peeta real quick (and before that, quick tangent, we can make fun of Suzanne Collins’s naming abilities all day, but I dare you to shout Peeta at the top of your lungs and not feel good about yourself. It’s just a good name to shout at the top of your lungs).

    Homeboy never guilt trips her. He merely states the fucked up situation as it is, and she’s ignoring him, and he’s looking for someone to talk to about their fucked up situation, and she’s literally the only person who truly understands it. Dude’s got every reason to be a little bit peeved about it because they’re in it together, and Katniss is a little bit selfish thinking it’s only about her (but true to every teenager ever). Dude gets mad at her for not telling her about the visit of President Peeniss Shipper Snow threatening her family because friendship is based on trust and she should have trusted him on that shit because his life is on the line too. Fake relationships are built on trust as well, the simple trust of “Hey, don’t tell anyone this thing is fake,” and he’s just trying to make the best out of a shitty situation, same as Katniss.

  8. So what did people think of Finnick and Johanna? I still think that the Finnick guy was not NEARLY hot enough, but he did an ok job so I can forgive them. But I just did not buy Jena Malone as Johanna, especially when she was trying to act angry. I don’t know if it was her voice or what but I was unconvinced.

    But I did like this one a lot better than the first one! I didn’t even think it was too long, and I think every movie is too long.

    • Also (sorry I have a lot of thoughts on this movie), the love triangle thing doesn’t really work for me at all. I didn’t like it in the books, but in the movies it just makes no sense because the majority of it takes place in Katniss’s head, so they just have her kissing everyone but also saying she doesn’t want to be with anyone and if I hadn’t read the book I would have had no idea what was even going on with her and Peeta because they kind of make it seem like she’s not into him at all even though she is. Though why anybody in this situation would need not one but two love interests is beyond me.

      • Yeah, I when I read the first book I thought for a minute that Suzanne Collins was going to introduce the love triangle just to subvert the whole trope and show how ridiculous it is for characters in such dire situations to be so hung up on romantic quibbles, because it kind of seemed like that was the direction it was going in, and I was excited, because seriously, boo to love triangles.

        And then, it didn’t.

        • But we’re not the audience. She’s writing this for 10-year-olds. There has to be a dumb love triangle for it to even get published, especially in that post-Twilight world. I liked how nuanced Katniss is in her ambivalence to both of them and fear of what happens if she doesn’t stay on script. It had notes that reminded me of Clarissa Explains All to a small degree (and I guarantee someone will do a paper on Sam vs. Peeta vs. Gale vs. Clarissa’s dumb dumb boyfriends and how it reflects on female sexuality in the 90s, in the early 2000s and in a dystopic fictional hellscape — if it hasn’t been written already).

          Also, Finnick is perfect for the tween audience. He’s got handsome nonthreatening All-Panem / District 4 jock down… and isn’t masculine/old enough to be off-putting to the actual target demographic. I did really appreciate Jena Malone/Johanna being as naked as possible in the press, though I still wish Kristin Bell had gotten the gig.

    • I wasn’t super sure about Johanna, but the one thing I will say is that in the books, Johanna wins by being a sniveling weakling who nobody suspects is actually vicious and lethal, so it makes sense that they would choose someone who is not physically imposing for that part.

      I will say that the part where she gets naked in the elevator was always weird to me in the books and after seeing it in the movie I can say that yep, it’s still weird and confusing and not really necessary.

    • I really wanted this guy for finnick

  9. A solid 4 out of 5 strawberries. Full strawberry up from Hunger Games: The Hunger Games.

    That said, there is so much baffling sideways logic in these books/movies it gives me brain throbs.

    Like, PSH spinning the center island? Like, if Katniss convinces the fickle masses that she loves Peeta, the revolution will stop? Like, are we meant to believe that the conspirators planned to have Katniss bow the Truman ceiling the whole time?

    A+ pimple fog though. Killer pimple fog.

    • I thought Beetee was supposed to do it, isn’t that how/why he got shocked?

    • In the book, they spin the center island so that the tributes no longer know which segment has which threat from the game-makers in it so that they wouldn’t know which ones to avoid at which time. It was basically done to keep them confused.

      • Did they move the tree? If not, wouldn’t that kind of defeat the purpose if that’s 12:00?

        • I don’t think it was an obvious tree in the book

          • That’s fair, and it makes sense there, but when it is like THE most obvious tree in the movie maybe they should’ve come up with some other twist to the game.

        • There was an identical tree in every ‘hour’. In the book, after it spun they had to wait until noon to find out which hour was 12, and then wait again until midnight to do the shocking. Or maybe the other way around. But each slice was identical with the same giant tree.

  10. I was surprised the movie didn’t mention Haymitch’s back story; it was slightly alluded to, but not in a way that would make sense/be notable to people who haven’t read the books. It would have been some good foreshadowing as to why so many of the other tributes went along with the conspiracy.

    • I was really surprised about that too actually. I wonder if they are going to use it more in the third movie, since they are splitting it into 2 parts and they’ll have more time for it.

    • I also thought it was pretty annoying that they didn’t even talk about what the previous Quarter Quell twists even were.

      • Yeah, especially since it could have just been mentioned in a single line of dialogue–it’s not anything complicated that would’ve taken a whole extra scene to explain, or something. Leaving it out made everyone look really stupid for being so shocked.

        • I was actually thinking it would be a really great cutaway scene, like in the first movie when they at least showed snippets of previous arenas. It’s a major part and could’ve been great on screen!

      • they also didn’t explain the Morphlings at all. The people I went with who hadn’t read the book had no idea what was going on with them and it would have taken 1 throwaway line when they were going through the tributes to explain that they’re drug addicts.

        • I know! They could’ve even addressed it when they gave Gale the morphling after his lashings! Like “Keep an eye on Gale with the morphling, people are getting addicted to it all over Panem” or some other dumb line.

  11. I really liked the movie. I thought it covered all of the important moments of the book without having a disjoint pace (like the first movie). The casting was pretty spot on (though catweazle has a point about Johanna, and action sequences were well done. The acting was a bit dry, but given the source material I am totally willing to look past it.

    I’m really interested in seeing what they do with Mockingjay, since IMO it was by far the worst book of the three.

    • I still can’t believe they’re splitting Mockingjay into two movies. Is the first movie going to just be Katniss wandering around District 13 like “I don’t know if I want to be in the revolution. I hate everything!” and the second one is just nonstop battles? Because that’s all I remember happening in that book.

  12. I really liked it, but i did think it dragged in parts and reallly dragged in others. I went with my whole family and when the mocking jay dress was reveled my dad went “ut oh cinna’s gunna get it”. I like peeta but i forgot how much of a weenie he is, he is constantly in trouble! All the make up and outfits were A+++ I want all of those eye lashes. The main show stealer was Stanley Tucci he is just a sweet perfect angel. OH i’m also i’m super attracted to Haymitch and i’m not proud of it.

    • Also all i kept thinking about is that Toby Jones and Phillip Seymour Hoffman both played truman capote. “a lotta capote up in here” was my direct quote to my 17 year old sister whose response with ‘WHAT?!”

    • My boyfriend leaned over to me and whispered something like “Cinna’s dead, isn’t he?”

      I also find Haymitch attractive, which is especially weird since I find Woody Harrelson to be super goofy and not attractive at all, but he seems like he’d be fun to hang out with.

  13. I really enjoyed this movie even though I think the books get progressively worse as they go along (don’t even talk to me about Mockingjay).

    I thought the movies did a good job making Katniss smarter and making Peeta wayyyyy less useless. In the book he is annoyingly terrible at everything, but they definitely fixed that here, so yay.

    It gives me hope for the third and fourth movie, that they’ll be able to skate over the terrible stuff and make them good. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

  14. I loved this movie, but am really embarrassed at how much these children’s murder stories get to me (#TeamPeeta! #TeamAngryCat!). Like, the books and movies are way traumatic and I can’t figure out why kids aren’t terrified by them.

  15. This is just a tangent really, but I had to be told who the guy hosting SNL was this past weekend. He was so tiny that I’m looking at that picture up there, trying to figure out if they only cast really short people to be in this movie. I always thought Mystique was a tall gal. Who knew?

  16. And District 12 is so small! All the power for that capital comes from there? And at the end it gets destroyed so they don’t even need it? And everything comes from America? And Katniss’s appearance on the Hunger Games stirred a revolution (whatever that would involve, the rich seem to massively outnumber the poor and it’s not like there’s a Death Star that can blow up) so to solve this, they decide to put her in the Hunger Games again? ARGH, this film made me so ANGRY!

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