If you’re a big fan of The Hunger Games, you may have seen the incredible productions based on the novels by Mainstay Productions. Their videos of the games—the ones featuring Katniss and Rue as well as Haymitch’s Quarter Quell especially—have been absolutely incredible, and I know I am not alone in thinking that if they made the film themselves, low budget or not, they’d probably do it justice.
Recently they made a multiple part series about Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta, the lovers from District Four whom we meet in the second book of the trilogy, Catching Fire. The two are some of the most complex characters in the entire series, and I, for one, would love to see novels written solely about them, their Hunger Games, and their lives up to their respective games.
I must admit that I was a little disappointed in these videos, though. They were enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, and I know they don’t have the budget that big studios have, but anytime I think of District Four I think of boats. Fisherman have to know boats, right? That said, I suppose that the use of boats would be rare in the district—if not heavily supervised with peacekeepers, which would have definitely impaired the romance a bit.
I also wasn’t a big fan of the way Annie was portrayed as some snotty little townie (much like Katniss’s mother might have been), above Finnick and above swimming. I think if she’d have won her Games by swimming, she must have learned way back in her childhood, not in her teen years. I also didn’t like how comatose she seemed in every single episode, with very little emotion. She almost seemed bored all of the time, which I don’t think she would have been. This lack of expression was perfect in the last episode after her Games, of course, when she was still reeling from their horror, but in the previous five it was completely out of place. I am not sure if it was the direction or the actress, but I wish that Annie had been portrayed more differently.
Finnick was done well, as was his father, I think; I liked how they played that Annie was reaped into the Games because of Finnick, which was probably what had happened. The simplicity of their romance, in stark contrast to his forced encounters with Capitol citizens, was also enjoyable.
Overall I think these were good short films to see, and I hope that Mainstay continues with their incredible work. Their new fairy short looks like it’s going to be another hit.