Catching Fire

Source:  Catching Fire    Tag:  how does catching fire end

Last year I finished all three books in the series “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. When I was reading the books I couldn’t put a single one of them down for a single second. Like most teenagers, I became completely enthralled in the 12 districts that made up the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem. So last night, when I went to see “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, the second movie in the series, I had extremely high expectations about how I wanted the movie to play out. In the end, I was more than satisfied.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, from Lionsgate, opens with a scenic view of the heroine, Katniss Everdeen played by our favorite actress, Jennifer Lawrence. One of the reasons why this movie is so successful is because of the amazing and publically appealing cast involved. To start, Jennifer Lawrence is a successful Academy Award-winning actress who has appealed to many young adults with her witty speeches and her love for food and drinking before interviews. Most importantly, her ability to act as a cunning, selfless fighter has been spot on, to say the least.

The movie begins with Katniss crouching in a bush hunting for animals in the forbidden part of her district. This opening scene reminds us that Katniss is just as bad-ass as she was in the first movie. That is, until her best friend Gale (Lian Hemswirth), startles her into a nervous breakdown. Then, we see her for what she has become since the first Hunger Games, a complete emotional wreck. But what else would you expect from a girl who had been dropped into an arena forced to kill the surrounding 23 people in order to continue living?
The Hunger Games might be directed towards young adults due to it’s superficial, cliché romantic theme of a girl constantly flip-flopping between two boys, each from a different world. However, the plot itself is complex and thoughtful, including references to past films and literature as well as universal themes including government, oppression and justice. In the first “Hunger Games” we meet Katniss, who resides in District 12, 1 of the 12 Districts that now makes up what is left of the world after a revolution destroyed most of North America. In order to make the people understand and regret their actions of revolting the president, currently President Snow, holds an event known as “The Hunger Games”. “The Hunger Games” is a broadcasted event in which two tributes from each district are chosen to fight each other to the death until there is one lone victor who receives fame, wealth for themselves, wealth for their district and the ability to continue living. In the first movie, Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), are chosen to be tributes in order to participate in dramatic, horrifying, gladiatorial extremes.

The second movie tells the story of a new game that took place on an island set up as a clock to reveal a different lethal event with each new hour. The idea itself is intriguing, but on the screen it was completely engrossing. The poisoning fog, killer monkeys, raining blood, threatening lighting and more was exciting for any age.
Catching Fire has a different director than the first. This time around, Francis Lawrence replaced Gary Ross. When Ross directed the first movie, it was done in the hesitance and fear that usually fuels the adaption of a popular book onto the movie screen. But with the surprising popularity and success that followed the first movie, Lawrence was given more free range. Lawrence is known for previously directing the well-received films, “Constantine” and “I Am Legend”.  There were also other details that made this movie so fascinating including the amazing costumes, designed by Trish Summerville, that were absolutely breathtaking. Other aspects that made the details of this film so detail oriented include the director of photography, Jo Willems, music by James Newton Howard, production design by Phillip Messina and producers Nina Jacobson and Jon Kilik.
The ending may have been disappointing, but it is hard to criticize it since it had ended exactly as the book had. In fact, most of the movie had followed the book, but not in a negative or downgrading manner. Rather, the movie did not take away from the book but only expanded on its ability to tell such a fantastic and symbolic story. The script, written by Simon Beaufot and Michael DeBruyn completed the difficult feat of adapting such a popular book. Typically, movie adaptations fail at properly adapting a popular book. However, this was not the case with this big-studio, beautifully visual adaptation. Although the ending was a chest, overdone concept of displaying the main character’s facial expression as she realized the consequences to her action, the scene did fill me with anticipation and excitement for the next two movies to come.