Reading The Hunger Games left me with mixed feelings, most of the negative kind. Watching the film adaptation made me see there’s “more” to the story. Seeing the sequel was a priority because of this.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Film Review
Haunted. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) rarely has a moment’s peace in the wake of the Hunger Games. Her family may be more comfortable now but her life will never be the same. This is particularly true of her relationship with best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth) who distances himself emotionally. He believes Katniss’ act of love towards her fellow 12th district competitor Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) was very real. Katniss assures Gale that it was for show, to survive. Then just as she’s about to make the Victory Tour with Peeta, Katniss discovers that unless she makes the diabolical President Snow (Donald Sutherland) believe in her love for Peeta, bad things will happen to her family.
Angry over the spark of rebellion Katniss stirs, Snow believes he can make an example of her by reminding the districts who’s in charge. Unimpressed by Katniss’ attempts to prove she’s in love with Peeta, he enacts a Quarter Quell; a version of the Hunger Games that can happen every 25 years. Reunited with their mentor (Woody Harrelson) for another training tour, Katniss and Peeta soon learn they aren’t the only two devastated over what their president is forcing them to do.
It’s really too bad I didn’t get a chance to read the book prior to seeing this film because I remember how much “fuller” the experience is. Alas, every good intention does not get a book read (seeing this is just too tempting). Compared to The Hunger Games, I come away with a much better feeling and this alone makes for a more rewarding cinematic experience.
I’m not really sure it’s accurate to say we “enjoy” these movies as that implies a happy experience. The film does draw us in with pretty notions though underneath there is darkness. Following in the wake of the Twilight movies and now competing against the Divergent series, this franchise takes on a lot. Before I gush too much about any one element, let me start off with this, as a production, this is magnificent. It goes above and beyond its predecessor and builds off of that while still growing and shaping how it will (presumably) climax. Designers, cast and the director really deserve more credit than they probably get. I mean, dang, ‘Catching Fire’ is definitely a spark not to ignore.
Costuming is gorgeous; everything Katniss dons to Effie’s (played by Elizabeth Banks) wacky creations, costumers deserve a grateful hand of applause. Oddly instead of distracting from the picture, this adds to the atmosphere, characters and the “emotion” of the scene. Speaking of those characters, I actually feel something for Katniss’ (YAY!), and for what she was going through. When I read the first novel, I remember thinking the girl was a board which in turn bored me. What is more interesting is how she is changes towards Peeta (who, by the way, is as “cute” as ever). She feels a pull towards him because both of them know what the other must live through yet she is afraid of the idea of “them.” New faces include Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.
Certainly, I’m not a girl who can judge this by its book, however as a cinematic performance, this is beautiful. I love the imagery, performances and the climax build-up. This sequel was on fire and then some.
(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Thank you to anyone who makes a purchase through these links. Read the disclosure page for details.)Jennifer Lawrence returns in the fiery sequel. ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ – Return to the Popular World. #YALit #TheHungerGames #Movies #FWArchives Click To Tweet
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Content; some of the deaths are more brutal than others, soon as the contestants enter the arena, fighting breaks out – arrows, spears and any form of weapon is used to get “kills.” At various points in the film, they are also “tortured” by
number methods [they’re attacked by birds or fire], a lot of which is psychological. The film is PG13.