The Hunger Games: Catching Fire: Sort of a film review! **(Contains spoilers!!)**

So the film has been out for about 10 days and I’ve seen it twice already. And yes, I would see it again. IT’S SO GOOD IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET THEN GO AND SEE IT. (Watch the first one before you do though or you won’t know what’s going on.)

For such a high profile film, adapted from a book,it manages to stay so similar. I’m reading the book again now and have only noticed a few minor things which the film didn’t incorporate. I went to the cinema with someone who hasn’t read the books and she came out of the cinema understanding the story. I think that’s an achievement when it’s an unusual story, something different, maybe something a bit abstract and the viewers can still understand it. That’s what happens with Catching Fire.

Half the film is based in the Districts as Katniss and Peeta make their way around Panem on their Victory Tour. Some scenes are quite shocking and others made me tear up, such as their visit to District 8. But the most gruesome part was the whipping which happened in District 12, when the new batch of Peacekeepers arrived. That was hard to watch but they didn’t show too much of the actual whipping. Liam Hemsworth, the actor who plays Gale, was actually whipped for this scene, meaning all the marks on his back were real. If that doesn’t show commitment to his career, I don’t know what does.

The film can be misleading if you haven’t read the books as you expect another film all about being in the Arena, but the actual Hunger Games in this film don’t start until the middle. Then, the ending will come as a surprise to some people, as it has quite a twist! (It’s exciting for me because I know what happens next…!) The plot is so well thought out, maybe a little twisted and unusual but they are clever books. They are so good, I’m reading them again.

One thing, probably the only thing, I didn’t like about the film was how it portrayed Katniss and Gale’s relationship before she had to go back into the Arena. In the book, there is no relationship. They’re good friends who have been through a lot together and Gale is the only person that Katniss feels she can trust with anything. But in the film, they kiss multiple times (whereas I’m sure it only happens once) and without the access to Katniss’ thoughts (like in the book) it starts to look like they are in love. Subtle language in the book makes it seem like Katniss is beginning to love Peeta, they way she wants him around to comfort her and how she wants him to be safe. Her wish for the Games this time is that Peeta has to survive, even if that means she doesn’t. They do hint at this during the film but after the scenes when you start to think she loves Gale. However, when Peeta is hurt during the Games, the way Katniss responds does suggest she has feelings for Peeta but before they enter the Arena, this isn’t so clear.

The relationships between Katniss and her family have much less emphasis in this film. In the first Hunger Games it was clear there distance between Katniss and her mother but that her sister Prim meant a lot to her. There was a sweet scene in this film where Prim tells Katniss how they support her but apart from that, they are just sort of there. In the background, in the house, without much interaction between them. In the book Katniss makes more of an effort with her mother but the film focuses much more on her relationship with Gale.

Writing with the book in mind, the actors chosen for each of the new characters are spot on. They are just as I imagined and all the acting was very good. Finnick (Sam Claflin) is probably my favourite new character. You can’t help but love him as he carries his fellow tribute from his District around the arena. He is such a lovable character and also a hero as he saves Peeta’s life. Sam Claflin was the perfect person to play him as he has the perfect grace and charm of Finnick Odair. Elizabeth Banks, who plays Effie, is different in this film as she has to watch her Victors go back into the Arena. It’s well displayed in her body language and the way she talks, still managing to keep that distorted Capitol accent. The crazy outfits she has to wear certainly don’t distract her from her acting. Of course, the star in real life, Jennifer Lawrence playing the star of the film, Katniss Everdeen, is as perfect as ever. I’m personally thankful that Jennifer did accept this acting role, as I don’t think anyone could play Katniss as well as she does. Some actors can look silly as they try to act out certain scenes but Jennifer manages to pull them all off, even when she is sliding into a river on her stomach while groaning in pain because of boils caused by poisonous gas. (This actually happened.) I can’t go without mentioning Josh Hutcherson. WHAT A BABE. This statement also applies to Sam Claflin and his character. I wish Peeta and Finnick were real. People like them should be in the world. Josh Hutcherson. Somehow, more attractive in this film and more lovable. He takes a locket into the Arena FOR KATNISS. He loves her so much and this is a biased opinion but I am on Peeta’s side. Peeta and Katniss should just be properly together and not just together because the Capitol want them to pretend they are together. The chemistry between Jennifer and Josh/Katniss and Peeta is perfect. It’s so natural. During interviews they just end up laughing with each other and not really answering questions, which is unhelpful for the interviewer but funny for the viewers. They work so well together and again, if Jennifer or Josh weren’t picked to play their characters, the films wouldn’t be this good. All amazing actors.

I love the Hunger Games. Despite it’s twisted story lines and horrific fatalities, it is a clever book series and the films are amazingly well-adapted to represent the books. Suzanne Collins must have quite an imagination to come up with these concepts. The third book, in my opinion, wasn’t as good as the others. A few people I have spoken to didn’t even finish it. I won’t ruin the plot of that one  but be warned that it gets even more dark and morbid! It is being split into two films and I will now sit in hope that they will be better than the book, which, with the actors they have should’t be difficult!

//Beth

(Something a bit different today! I was talking to my flatmates about the film and it was all in my head so I thought I’d talk even more about it! I love The Hunger Games so expect another post once the next film has come out! My next update will probably be over Christmas!)

 

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