The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Sunday, 1 December 2013

I am trying, as a huge fan of The Hunger Games trilogy, to be subjective about the second instalment of the films, Catching Fire.

 I admit, the first half of the film moves very slowly, as we catch up with victors of the last Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) to see how they've been coping and then embarking on their victory tour. For me, it was not a disappointment to see the scenes of dissent in the districts, the fabulous costumes Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) created and the sumptuous extravagance of  the Capitol brought to life, but I do feel like they were too lengthy and not emotive enough. It was a huge contrast to the scenes when the pair enter the arena for the second time, having been selected for a special quarter quell that sees old and previously exempt victors taking part in the Hunger Games for a second time. These scenes moved much too quickly, and we have little chance to connect with many of the new characters here. I was glad the love triangle with Gale (Liam Hemsworth) was explored more, it was fraught and yet tender, but I felt it could have been pushed even further. 

 This disjointed feel to the film probably owes much to the fact that Gary Ross did not direct, citing a 'tight' and 'fitted' schedule for his withdrawal. He was replaced by Francis Lawrence (no relation to Jennifer). Overall, I feel like while visually interesting, especially to someone who has read the books, the film was lacking and it's main purpose was to set up for final instalment Hunger Games: Mockingjay, which will be split into two films. 

One thing I will say is, Jennifer Lawrence is outstanding. She outshines he co stars with the turn of her head or blink of an eye. Her performance is stunning, even in the most seemingly simple of moments and her emotion is raw and throbbing on screen. Much has been made of her more realistic figure, so i wont rehash it, but her portrayal of Katniss is what every film hopes for with their heroine; tough, fizzing with attitude and intelligence all the while looking bad ass. When I grow up I want to be like Jennifer Lawrence, basically. 

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