I am almost dizzy with fatigue but there's no way I can sleep right now so I will FEELINGSDUMP all over you all. Spoilers for both movies and vague spoilers for all the books, which I haven't read but which I've read people's posts about.
It's a combination of the story being pure id-fodder and the filmmakers being really good at what they do, I think? Because the story hits a lot of buttons: fantasy of political agency, competence, chosen one (reluctant variety), even the boring love triangle. And Jennifer Lawrence is so good, as is most of the rest of the cast. It just sweeps me right in and doesn't let go.
The thing is, I know the third book is considered by at least some people whose opinions I often agree with to be kind of a shitshow, needlessly depressing and making Katniss just a pawn. And given that Collins is involved in these I don't know how much the movies can fix that. There was some of that tension here, Katniss wanting not to have the responsibility of what she unintentionally started at the beginning and then at the end discovering that everyone had been making plans around and for her, but there was a bit in the middle, and I can't remember what specifically it was right now, where I felt like she'd decided to step forward and accept leadership and a purpose.
Katniss needs agency in the big picture, in other words, and I don't know how much she's going to get.
(Why are there not a million gifs of her beautiful, beautiful fuck-you bow in front of the effigy of Seneca Crane? SO. AWESOME.)
Speaking of fuck-yous, Johanna! I have nothing particular against Peeta or Gale, but they're kind of boring (I assume this is for the self-insert value, but shouldn't the fantasy boyfriends competing for your affections be, uh, compelling?). I love her so much. Give me all the non-death-involving Johanna/Katniss AUs, please, right now.
What's-his-face, the game master. I was surprised that the conspiracy went as far as him, obviously there was a conspiracy (Johanna bringing the traumatized tick-tock woman like a cat bringing a dead mouse at her feet!).
// and that right there is as far as I got before the Pip woke up and I had to go hold his hand and keep him from scratching the back of his neck bloody for about, uh, 45 minutes. I'm going to finish really quickly because "cannot see from exhaustion" is going to be a more effective brake on my time than anything else tomorrow, and I have way too much to do tomorrow.
So: game-master! Surprised, but not stunned, it was very well-signalled in retrospect.
Going down character list:
Gale, Peeta: kinda boring.
Prim: medical expert, go you.
Cinna: sadfaces forever. I'm sure he knew what he was risking, and I'm equally sure Snow waited to take him until then to rattle Katniss. I doubt he survives but I would really really like him to.
Effie: surprisingly affecting! I hope she gets out and joins the revolution.
Haymitch: is there. I was much more on board with him until the end.
Finnick: is there. I think fannish knowledge made me think he was one of the "good" guys, because I was never in particular tension about his loyalties. Or Johanna's, for that matter.
Beetee: glad he survived, at least.
// second Pip-induced break and while this was only five minutes, I have zero faith he will stay asleep and also I have no idea what else I was going to say.
So in summary: Katniss can't be a general or a planner, that's not her talent or training. She has to be a motivational figure, put kindly, or a figurehead, put unkindly. I just want her to own that role and for people to recognize that her moral code is what's making her inspirational and to respect that.
Trailers tomorrow. Those are quick, at least.
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