22 October 2012
Close Reading of a Visual Text: Nightlock Berries Scene
“Attention. Attention tributes. There has been a slight rule change. The previous revision allowing for two victors from the same district has been revoked. Only one victor may be crowned. Good Luck. And may the odds be ever in your favor." Seneca Crane broadcasts this bombshell statement into the arena after the death of Cato. By looking at the similarity between the tributes’ reaction to Seneca Crane’s announcement and the viewer’s reaction, we can see the sorrow and disbelief of Katniss and Peeta who thought they had just won the games and the surprise of the viewer’s when she pulls out the nightlock berries; this is important because the look on their faces makes the crowd and the audience believe that Katniss and Peeta are really going to eat the berries and commit suicide, while she knew the entire time that the gamemakers would have to stop them so they can have their victor(s).
To start things off, the first response that I feel from this scene is sorrow, as I feel the makers of the movie intended for everyone to feel. During the announcement, Katniss starts to put an arrow into the bow showing glimpses of her old self trying to survive. In the book, Katniss does the same, but actually takes aim at Peeta. In both the book and movie, Peeta acknowledges that Katniss should kill him. That one of them should go home. He even acknowledges that the Capitol has to have their victor. As Peeta is saying this, there are images of Katniss, him, Seneca Crane, and the crowd flashing on to the screen. Katniss and Peeta are frozen in the open field for everyone in the world to watch them. They can’t hide anymore from their fate. The crowd is speechless, quiet, and about heartbroken to see the two star-crossed lovers they’ve been cheering for about to commit suicide. Everyone in the streets of the capitol has stopped what they were doing to watch the scene...