THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
Adapted from Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic, 2009)
JENNIFER LAWRENCE ~ Katniss Everdeen
JOSH HUTCHERSON ~ Peeta Mellark
LIAM HEMSWORTH ~ Gale Hawthorne
WILLOW SHIELDS ~ Primrose Everdeen
WOODY HARRELSON ~ Haymitch Abernathy
SAM CLAFLIN ~ Finnick Odair
JENA MALONE ~ Johanna Mason
STANLEY TUCCI ~ Caesar Flickerman
DONALD SUTHERLAND ~ President Snow
ELIZABETH BANKS ~ Effie Trinket
What’s it about?
After tricking the Gamemakers and winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are the targets of the Capitol. A rebellion is sparking, but will the Girl on Fire be around the carry it through to the end?
How does it hold up?
I withstood nearly two weeks of endless raving about this movie, avoiding spoilers of what made it to the big screen and what didn’t, and driving myself crazy with the need to be thrown back into the world of Panem. It was worth the wait.
Catching Fire packs a crazy-intense emotional punch. I actually felt a lot more, especially in the way of sadness, than I remember doing so when reading the book for the first time. There were so many shocking moments that were mad sad and poignant by Jennifer Lawrence; she really brought them to life and I teared up a few times. They were moments that they couldn’t have shown in full, awful glory and keep the 12 rating, but the acting around it made it even more powerful. Anything added would have been traumatic! And yet there were still some really funny moments that didn’t feel out of place in the slightest. This cast really is perfection.
The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale really came to light in this instalment. Things intensified between Katniss and Gale and Katniss and Peeta significantly and I began to see Katniss’ confusion and battle with her heart and mind in Catching Fire in a clearer and more obvious way than the novel. Part of me expected to dislike that the emotional subtlety of the novel was disregarded for the movie, but I actually really liked it. Especially when it came to the revolution.
Panem didn;t really start to revolt until fairly fair into the novel, from what I remember, so I was quite surprised at how quickly it began to steamroller, but it really worked. Anything slower would have dragged on the big screen, I think.
Other than the emotional punch in the stomach, what stayed with me the most was the stronger presence of the character who essentially started it all: Prim, and the one everyone disregarded as shallow and pointless in the beginning: Effie Trinket. Prim grew up. She wasn’t the scared, timid little girl letting her big sister fight her battles anymore; she’s clearly related to Katniss now. Although I loved her development it was also another of those sad moments where you realise how harsh their world is.
I just plain adore Effie. She really wormed her way into my heart in Catching Fire. Her outfits were wackier and even more incredible (seriously, the designers behind these films need an award) and we also got to see the woman underneath them. I love how protective she is of Katniss and Peeta – her victors – and of them and Haymitch as a team. It’s adorable. The fact that she even commented on how unfair it was that they had to return to the arena and that she cried showed a different side to her and the possibility of the people of the Captiol. It’s a nice hint at what’s to come in Mockingjay I think.
I walked out of the cinema with a huge smile and really, really pleased with what they did it, as well as an overwhelming need to re-read the trilogy and see the film again. Mission accomplished, I think.
Book or film?
I think they both work perfectly as separate entities and I just can’t choose between them. Both just excellent.