I held off seeing Catching Fire until quite a while after it was released in cinema in order to see it for the first time with my friends, though by that time I could have already watched it twice. It was a film that I had been anticipating ever since the first film, which I saw as a major success. So as I settled down into my cinema seat with my milkshake I was practically giddy with excitement. This was multiplied when, as the film started, someone in the audience did the whistle. Yes, those of you that have seen or read The Hunger Games, it was the four note whistle Rue and Katniss used to communicate in the 74th Hunger Games.
Now, there were people that complained because the build up to the Quarter Quell was “too long.” However, if you read the books then you would know that they don’t go into action right away and as fans get extremely angry if a film is not as close to the book as possible, I was glad that they kept most things the same. There are a few things I noticed were missing; the two girls who escaped from the explosion and were off to find District 13, the Avoxes, Peeta’s false leg and Katniss’s damaged hearing (but they were missing from the first film.) Though you can put this all down to it being difficult to turn a 400 page book into a two and a half hour film. Besides, every book-to-film adaptation has some cut scenes that the fans are not happy about, it’s to be expected.
But let’s get to the reasons why this film is so great. I go on a lot about how much I love the acting of Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson and Liam Hemsworth. They work extremely well together, their chemistry is brilliant and they are just great to watch (although we didn’t see much of Liam in this film we will see him more in Mockingjay.) They were great casting choices. Although, I was extremely controversial about Lawrence being Katniss, but she continues to amaze me as to how much her portrayal is like the book.
Plus, then there is the plot itself. The production team did a wonderful job in portraying the story in such a way that it makes you feel emotions on a massive scale and gets you really emotionally invested. There were many times that will make you laugh, especially the elevator scene, where Johanna strips in front of Haymich, Peeta and Katniss (who’s facial expression was priceless.) On the other hand there were also many moments of sadness such as Mags sacrificing herself so Finnick and Katniss could help Peeta.
It is a film that you can watch repeatedly and never tire of it. It is one of those films that keep you captivated throughout, that makes you smile, laugh, cry, and leaves you a babbling bundle of feelings and excitement before getting post-film depression.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is my film of the year not because it met my expectations, but because it went above and beyond those expectations and for me trumped the first film, which I think is near on impossible for a sequel to do.
Is Catching Fire in your top list of 2013? Let us know!