Last night marked the premiere of the much anticipated Catching Fire, the second chapter to the Hunger Games movie series based off the original books. The theatres were piled in with chattering fans, all awaiting the title to roll onto the screen and wondering how closely this film will follow the second book, and if it will be as exciting as the first movie.
I’m not going to lie: I was on the edge of my seat during the movie, waiting for the next twist and heartbreak that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) may endure. However, the movie started out pretty slow, and followed the same format as the first.
It began with Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) back in District 12 after winning the Hunger Games, ready to travel on a tour to proclaim their love and happiness about the games. Viewers are taken on a journey with the characters, where we see dirty and broken down districts, while the Capital and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) continue to thrive.
Is that the smell of rebellion in the air? Anyways, Katniss’s mocking jay has became a symbol to the people of hope and courage, ideas that the President detests. This push and pull between good and evil goes on for about an hour until viewers understand what the President’s solution to Katniss and the rebellion is: to kill all of the Hunger Games survivors.
To not give away the whole movie, Hunger Games winners from each district are forced to enter in the game again and turn against each other. Katniss and Peeta are the obvious favorites, even though Katniss seems slightly oblivious throughout the movie about her presence to the people, she eventually realizes that she is the hero of the oppressed and will be the one to truly enact a full rebellion. Get ready for an interesting twist, and an end that will leave you begging for more!
Both the new and old characters were given time to develop so readers could connect, and I found myself rooting for most of them. I also enjoyed the music and scenery, the actual Hunger Games arena was a spectacular jungle and the Capital was extravagant as usual. I mean, who can forget about Effie’s (Elizabeth Banks) gold hair?
There are a few things that kind of bothered me. Like, what is going on with the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and Gale (Liam Hemsworth). In the beginning, we are to believe that the love between Katniss and Peeta was a facade and just a means to survive, because she truly loves Gale, the bad-boy miner. But then, once Katniss and Peeta realize that they must pretend to love each other again, there does seem to be actually more between them. I know this isn’t the point of the movie, so do we really care? But c’mon, Katniss, just pick someone!
I think Jennifer Lawrence plays the role phenomenology. She’s engaging, heroic, and super badass with her archery skills. If I were to be thrown into the Hunger Games, I would want her to be my alley. But, would it kill Katniss to crack a smile every once and while to the people she cares about? I understand she’s gone through some pretty messed up stuff, and is now not only forced to relive it but also be a beacon of hope, but the constant gloominess can be a little overbearing.
Despite a few minor issues, I overall loved it and completely stand by my statement to go watch it yourself. Remember who the enemy is.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons