Catching Fire, the second movie of the Hunger Games trilogy, captivated thousands of people at its premiere on November 22. Directed by Francis Lawrence, Catching Fire surpassed fans’ expectations including Mia Maher (Jr.), who said, “I absolutely loved Catching Fire. This movie was ten times better than the first Hunger Games movie.”
Francis Lawrence and the cast of Catching Fire, including Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, who played Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne respectively, created a dramatic and action-packed movie that constantly kept the audience at the edge of its seats.
The audience first sees Katniss and Gale hunting in the woods; however they quickly go back to District 12 in Panem where citizens are suffering from poverty, hunger and President Snow’s dictatorship. Katniss reluctantly says goodbye to her family and friends and begins the Victory Tour with Peeta and her lovable, humorous mentors, Haymitch Abernathy, played by Woody Harrelson, and Effie Trinket, played by Elizabeth Banks.
Katniss serves as a symbol of hope for the impoverished people in the twelve districts and unintentionally begins uprisings amongst the districts’ citizens against the Capitol and President Snow’s rule. President Snow, in an attempt to terminate the uprisings, selects tributes from the existing pool of previous Hunger Games victors for the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta are then forced to relive the dreaded Hunger Games along with Finnick Odair, played by Sam Claflin, and Johanna Mason, played by Jena Malone, who provide comic relief for the audience.
The contrast between the dark, gloomy districts and the lavish, vibrant Capitol perfectly reflect the Suzanne Collins’ descriptions in the novel. The extravagant costumes of the pompous citizens in the Capitol were skillfully made and especially impressive. For the most part, the movie’s plot aligned with that of the novel, although the portrayal of the actual Hunger Games was rushed, due to the movie’s time restraint. “I thought the movie was really good, and I thought that it was better than the first one because it was closer to the book,” said Ariella Cohen (Jr.) When asked what she would have changed about the movie, Cohen said, “I wish the script-writers had included the part from the book where Haymitch sends loaves of bread into the arena, where each bread represents a specific district. He uses this to tell the people in the arena how many days there are until the rebellion begins.” Although the movie ended abruptly, the audience left the theater excited to watch the trilogy’s part one of the second to last installment, Mockingjay – Part 1, which premieres November 2014.
Written by KRUTHI RENDUCHINTALA