Saturday 23 November 2013

Thoughts on Films: Catching Fire

*Need I say that this will probably/definitely contain spoilers for the first film and possibly parts of the second one so if you haven't read the book/have but want to have the film unspoiled before you see it, stop here!*

Hello! I am talking about films today again. Namely Catching Fire because it was amazing and I loved it and I want to tell you about it. Is that not a good enough reason? 

I wasn't too sure if I was going to like Catching Fire as much as The Hunger Games as I don't remember liking the book as much and I knew that the tone would be different and I wasn't sure if it was going to maintain that same sort of emotional connection that we had in the first film because it's not as much about the games as it is about the burgeoning revolution. Well, I was wrong. It was, in my opinion, better than the first one, and it captured the spirit of the books beautifully.

Katniss is probably one of my favourite characters not just in the series, but ever. I think that it's really interesting that this person who doesn't have many likeable qualities (and I don't mean that in a bad way) has found herself in such a prominent place in the hearts of readers and viewers alike. And whether or not you like Katniss, you have to admit that it is fascinating that on the back of (really brilliant) posts like this that we have a female character like Katniss, who is not typically likeable, being the main character of such a popular series. So, that wasn't entirely relevant to the film, but I kind of just wanted to get that out there. I was so pleased that they kept in Katniss and Peeta's trauma from the first games. Not that that's something they would take out because it is so integral to who these people are now, and so key to their relationship, but still, I was pleased nevertheless. And speaking of Katniss's likeability, I think that it is her vulnerability which sort of endears us to her more? She is strong and she is a survivor, but it is so apparent in both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire that she is so afraid for herself, her family, for Peeta. She never wanted to become the Mockingjay, she just wanted to get home. And Jennifer Lawrence is amazing. She just is Katniss. If you weren't convinced in the first one, she completely brings it this time. There is such a rawness to Katniss in this film as she sees the beginnings of the revolution and the consequences that this has for the people. You can see her pain and her guilt, and you can see the change in her relationship with Peeta. In The Hunger Games, it really felt like it was all just an act and we get to see some of the aftermath of this, but in the Arena you really do start to believe in their romance because of the bond that has been forged between them after the trauma of the first games.

I also wasn't entirely convinced by the casting of Sam Claflin and Jena Malone as Finnick and Johanna, but they both were excellent. Finnick was both arrogant and sweet, and I think he portrayed Finnick so well. And Johanna was so pissed off and there is one hilarious scene in a lift which comes to mind that I don't remember from the book (but I could be wrong). In fact, I think that all of the Victors were well cast, and it was really important that they got that right because they are so different from the tributes from all the other games. There's a much wider range of emotion, and most of them already have their own vendetta against the Capitol and Snow (for good reason). Though it does seem like a bit of a foolish idea for Snow to agree to put 24 people who probably, definitely resent him and the Games in a position where they can either subtly or just outright criticize the Capitol at a very volatile time.

The Arena itself was also amazing. Don't get me wrong, the Victory Tour was super well done and everything before the games itself was so emotional (I really can't believe how emotional this film was. I can't remember being that affected by the book.) but the Arena looked just like how I thought it would. Like, exactly. Everything from the poison fog to the Jabberjays to the lightening tree looked stunning and there were so many excellent moments within the Arena. The last five minutes of the film from the moment she is reminded who the real enemy is to the very end was so perfect and powerful. And it also reminded me of how horrible Mockingjay is going to be, with what happens to Peeta. I just hope the whole splitting into two films thing works out for the best (though I'm still not convinced). The other thing which I think is really great about the Arena and the games themselves in Catching Fire is the fact that, unlike in the 74th Games, the other tributes come across as being less of a threat than the Arena itself, helping to get across this whole message of remembering who the real enemy is. Of course, the careers still pose a threat, and Katniss does not trust her allies in the Arena, but a lot more time is spent with having the Arena being a huge threat to their lives. Though, this probably isn't that valid a point because Plutarch is kind of on their side, and he is the one that's kind of in control of the Arena...

There's a whole lot that I want to say about Catching Fire. It's probably one of the best book adaptations I've seen, and manages to be powerful and emotionally resonant and just a really, really amazing film. I was really impressed. And so pleased that they kept in all of my personal favourite moments from the book (the ending, their solo skills demonstration stuff etc). So yeah. You probably didn't need me to tell you it was amazing, because basically everyone on the internet is saying that, but I had a lot of feelings and I just wanted to get them out there.


  1. Cicely, we are with you 110%! Every single thing you said about the film, we agree with. Which only makes us that much more excited for the Mockingjay movies! In fact, we're going to reread the book now too, in spite of how devastating it is.

  2. YEEES! Loved Catching Fire very much and liked it better than the first movie, too. Effie, Finnick, Mags and all the others were just perfect. Loved the arena, the emotions, everything about it:))

  3. I love your thoughts! I feel like I don't need to bother writing my own down, now ;)! I agree this film was SO EMOTIONAL! *way* more emotional than the book for sure. I got choked up a couple of times.

    I loved Johanna and Finnick; I thought they were both AMAZING and *almost* stole the show (also, lift scene, not *exactly* the same in the book but it does kinda happen, she takes her clothes off before getting in and then talks to Peeta on the ride up whilst naked) but I think it actually works better in the film! I came out of this wanting to go right back in and watch it again and I think that's the mark of an amazing film! Loved it so much


  4. Oh I agree with so much of what you've written! I really don't remember liking the Catching Fire book all that much? But the film was amazing. I thought the casting was great, they really showed Peeta off better than the first film. I LOVED Finnick and Johanna and I just really got into it a lot more. It was amazing.


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