Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Book to Film Review: Catching Fire

About the film
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film in The Hunger Games series. The film was released at cinemas on 21st November 2013 in the UK. Catching Fire has a run time of 146 minutes and is rated 12A due to language and violence.

After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta are trying to get on with their lives after the hell they went through. But, they must also embark on the Victor’s Tour, visiting each and every district and speak to the people there. But, before they can go, President Snow pays Katniss a visit and warns her not to mess up or there could be terrible consequences for her family. Unfortunately, she does mess up though which causes him to bring back the Quarter Quell, a whole different kind of Hunger Games. Instead of two people from each district, this time it will be two victors from each district and Katniss and Peeta know what that means for them. In order to survive again, their best chance is to form an allegiance with other victors but who can keep them safe?

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen
Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark
Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne
Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy
Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket
Lenny Kravitz as Cinna
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee
Jeffrey Wright as Beetee Latier
Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman
Donald Sutherland as President Coriolanus Snow
Toby Jones as Claudius Templesmith
Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair

What I thought
I am such a big fan of The Hunger Games as books and really enjoyed the first film. Catching Fire was one of my most anticipated films of 2013.

In this film, victors Katniss and Peeta are trying to get on with their lives and are getting ready to go on the victors tour. Katniss really doesn’t want to do this as she knows she will have to face the families of those who died in order for her and Peeta to win. After President Snow threatens her family, and then orders a Quarter Quell Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta are forced to go back into the nightmare they have already faced. This time though, they’ll be facing others who won their own Hunger Games and know what it takes to come out alive.

Jennifer Lawrence reprises her role as protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence certainly seems to be the actress of the moment and has not done a bad film to date (in my opinion anyway). While Katniss comes across as a tough girl with an attitude, there is also a much softer side to her and Lawrence shows this really well. Although she is a hardened character, Lawrence makes her so likeable at the same time. You route for her, you don’t want her to fail and most importantly, you don’t want her to die. I really can’t imagine anyone else playing this role as Lawrence is pretty damn perfect in it.

Other cast members are just as good though so the show isn’t stolen by Lawrence completely. Josh Hutcherson plays one of the love interests, Peeta. In the first film he came across as too sweet and a bit too nice but Catching Fire sees his character progress quite a lot. He knows more of how the world works now and doesn’t want to be walked all over. I really liked how Hutcherson took Peeta’s character to the next level in this film. Also playing great roles is Donald Sutherland who plays President Snow. Although a pretty quiet character, he is creepy as hell and I would definitely be scared of him. Then there is Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. He is a character who you can’t help but love and to begin with, I was worried about who was playing him but now, I really like the choice.

Catching Fire does start off quite slowly but so does the book. There is quite a lot of catching up to do since Katniss and Peeta won the last Hunger Games. We learn of the beginnings of an uprising, President Snow acting out because of Katniss and the return of the Quarter Quell. There is a lot of story to cover before the film heads back into the Hunger Games again. However, once the action really begins, it doesn’t stop. This Hunger Games is so much worse than the first one and there are a whole load of new scary things going on. As with the first films, there is a lot of violence and a lot of killing so some parts are quite hard to watch but everything fits in to the film perfectly.

For those who haven’t already read the books, there will be a lot of surprises coming for you and I know you won’t be disappointed with the sequel.

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