I've known for a while that the character Madge Undersee hadn't made the cut for "The Hunger Games" movie, thanks to my friends Savanna and Adam who pointed it out on an episode of The Hunger Games Fireside Chat.
(Warning: Spoilers ahead)Madge's character is the one who originally gives Katniss her mockingjay pin. Later, in Catching Fire, we learn that the pin belonged to her aunt Maysilee who died in the 50th Games. Maysilee was Haymitch's ally and the guilt of her death most likely continued to haunt Haymitch, as well as drive Madge's mother's--Maysilee's twin sister--addiction to morphling. Katniss realizes the symbolic significance of the pin doesn't lie just within herself; it is embedded deeply into the hearts of the people of district 12 and throughout all the districts, representing all those who have lost their lives in the Games, like Maysilee. Like Rue. And represents all those whose lives will never be the same, like Haymitch and Madge's mother.
Katniss carries the weight of this responsibility into the arena with her in Catching Fire and knows what she must do with it: sacrifice her life for Peeta, the true mockingjay and voice of the rebellion. (Of course, things don't always work as planned.)
|The Mockingjay Pin. From Lionsgate, photo courtesy of Celebuzz|
Books can have multiple themes and story lines, but having too many in a movie is often confusing. There's not enough time to do it justice. Perhaps this is why the books are always better than the movie: they go much deeper than just surface themes. The pin represents so many different things in The Hunger Games: Katniss's father, Rue and her love of music, the mockingjay itself: a species that was never meant to exist (a slap in the face to the Capitol), death, rebellion, loss of a loved one, hope, and on and on. Can we honestly expect a movie to be able to delve that deeply into all those themes? Granted, many of them are not explored until the final two books, but it is still asking a lot for a two-hour movie to cover.
So, I think I've come to terms with Madge's absence in "The Hunger Games" movie. I just wonder how the story will be told in the movie for "Catching Fire."
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