The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, the (possibly) final installment in the Hunger Games movie franchise, ended up being split into two films. And although general moviegoers and fans may have mixed feelings on the matter, Lionsgate studio executives are no doubt feeling good about the decision, as Mockingjay – Part 1 has taken in $729 million worldwide – meaning Mockingjay – Part 2 stands a good shot of grossing just as much (if not more), when it arrives in theaters this fall.
Mockingjay – Part 1 became available for viewing in Digital HD today, with the DVD/Blu-ray release to follow next month. A few deleted scenes from the movie have been released ahead of time, including the above clip featuring Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks) taking over makeup application duties from a couple of District 13 members – who are attempting to get Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) prepared to shoot propaganda material, for the Panem districts’ rebellion against the Capitol.
It makes sense that the above clip wouldn’t have made the final cut in Mockingjay – Part 1; there’s not much in the way of character development offered by that scene that isn’t also provided by a similar exchange between Katniss and Effie that was included in the actual movie. However, that’s less true for the following brief deleted sequence from the film, in which Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) reminds Katniss about what they’re fighting/sacrificing for.
The most interesting of these deleted scenes, however, is easily the one below; and not just because it’s the longest either, at around three minutes. Here, we get an entire exchange between President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Peeta (Josh Hutchinson), while the latter is still being held captive by the Capitol; it recalls a scene from the first Hunger Games movie where Snow is talking with Seneca Crane (Wes Bentley) – allowing the main antagonist in Hunger Games a chance to calmly explain the rationale behind his often terrible actions.
It’s certainly possible the above moment between Snow and Peeta was cut due to pacing issues; or, alternatively, because director Francis Lawrence decided to avoid showing what was going on behind the scenes of Peeta’s broadcasted messages to Panem, in order to better build-up the mystery surrounding that. The scene would’ve also pulled viewers away completely from Katniss’ perspective; perhaps too much so, seeing as so much of the events in the Hunger Games series are depicted from her POV.
Nonetheless, it’s a very intriguing moment that offers some food for thought about the storytelling approach in Mockingjay – Part 1. We’ll see if the additional deleted scenes (some six more) due to arrive with the film’s DVD/Blu-ray release offer as much to consider, by comparison.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is now available for viewing in Digital HD and will be released on DVD/Blu-ray next month on March 6th. Mockingjay – Part 2 opens in U.S. theaters later this year, on November 20th, 2015.