By Rudolph Musngi (Pampanga, Philippines)
How Catching Fire Caught Me
After the blazing debut of the book to movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games follows a fiery sequel. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire surely achieves the trilogy’s boiling point scorching the viewers and leaving them in total awe.
Catching Fire is a sweltering tale of politics, society and popular culture built within the foundations of a murderous game, the struggle to survive and man’s innate desire to achieve freedom from the shackles of oppression and achieve full flight, all fabricated between two and a half hours of silver screen time.
Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) return after their sweet yet obstinate victory in the 74th Hunger Games, a riotous bloodbath where all players kill their opponents and survive. However, because of the haunting experiences they previously had, the two victors of District 12, bothers them as they both try to return to their normal lives despite the constant interventions and gossiping of the Panem media.
This series of unfortunate and yet totally disturbing psychological snags is a threat posed by their insurgence to the rules of the previous Hunger Games. After their victory and guts to break the rules set out by the Capitol, the 12 districts were inspired and became more potent to revolution. Wanting to shroud this imminent threat, President Coriolanus Snow (played by Donald Sutherland) put the Katniss and Peeta into a tour and controls their speeches and distract all citizens into the two and away from revolution. He turns unsuccessful and becomes furious. Wanting to avert the impending uprising, he planned a way to eliminate the District 12 victors. Snow decreed to put them into the 75th Hunger Games, the third Quarter Quell where the previous victors from 12 Districts fight. However, things did not go as he wished.
There is so much to like in Catching Fire, but the most surfacing of all is how the actors portrayed the roles and brought them to life. Jennifer Lawrence proves that she deserves her Oscar as she gave flesh, bones and blood to the book Katniss. With her acting, the comfortable portrayal of Katniss’ everyday emotions of laughter, love, shock to her extraordinary feelings of pain, sadness and anger, Lawrence gave The Hunger Games Trilogy-lovers a tangible perception of Katniss. With this effort, Katniss becomes part of the Hall of Fame actresses who will always be known as the character they played. She now sits with Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe and The Lord of the Rings’ Elijah Wood. Her unceasing greatness caused the other stars to shine thus adding emotion to the movie. It gave an impression of catharsis as the viewers commiserated with the characters’ pain.
Francis Lawrence, director of Catching Fire also did an excellent job in transforming and immortalizing Collin’s book and builds it into a steamy and yet realistic call to revolution. Judging from the reader to movie viewer standpoint, the film surfeits of quality. Catching Fire’s movie adaptation was able to impressively synthesize the clamor for a mass-loved story and an amazingly sewn story of the society. The first part was a slow rise of conflict depicting the trauma inflicted by the previous Hunger Games. It deals with the emotion, the unrelenting theme of love and family. You could readily feel the conflict rising as President Snow tries to completely erase Katniss and the whole of District 12 and avert the crisis. The second part shows the merciless Hunger Games. This period in the movie was brilliantly laid as it convincingly detailed the tell-tale murders without going gory.
Overall, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire the movie is dazzlingly created. It bridges the imaginary realm of Panem into the real world as it discusses how the real society goes. Touching the fundamental policies and schemes of the government, Catching Fire, together with the other books in the Trilogy, gives an honest and tangible idea of how are we manipulated by the government, the media and the corporate world. It gives a challenge to be Katnisses who are willing to deviate from the evil shenanigans of the Capitol.
With the greatness of how the plot revolved, mixing the popular clamor for love stories and the artistic and noble need of awareness, I give The Hunger Games: Catching Fire a rating of B+.
Source: rudolphmusngi.comView Movie Quotes