I think I’m obsessed with The Hunger Games. So obsessed that last night I saw The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) for the third time and I’ll undoubtedly buy the DVD to watch it another hundred times. J-Law and her insane archery skills just get me every time.
The film itself is a great adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ 2009 novel of the same title. It must be noted that while the director of the first film, Gary Ross, did a good job, Francis Lawrence (director of Catching Fire) surpassed his predecessor by leaps and bounds. I don’t know if it was because the material was better at capturing audiences or if Lawrence is just a better director but I enjoyed the second film vastly more than the first. It probably also helped that I knew more of the back story and had spent the last twelve months eagerly anticipating its release. Simply put, I freaking loved it! My sister made the comment after seeing the film for the first time last night that the whole thing made her feel stressed. Not stressed in so much that she didn’t thoroughly enjoy the film (she definitely did), stressed in that she can’t believe that one person, Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence), can be put through so much and still be kicking. I think that it’s a testament to both the character of Katniss Everdeen as well as the performance given by Jennifer Lawrence that this series has become so globally successful. I also think that it can be unanimously agreed upon that President Snow is an evil son of a bitch. Anyway back to the film.
As we saw in the first film, the costuming, make-up and sets were all above reproach and Catching Fire (2013) is no different. From the simply leather jacket and boots Katniss wears in District 12 to the lavish gowns she wears in the Capitol, each costume is perfectly matched to her character. The same can be said of the characters of Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson). The costume, make-up and set departments on this film definitely earned their paychecks. In combination with all of these other departments, the special effects and digital effects departments also did a great job of seamlessly blending the computer generated action with the live action. The poisonous fog and the tidal wave are only but two shining examples of that amazing work and I cannot wait to see what the future films have in store for audiences.
I also feel that I need to mention the performance given by Elizabeth Banks as Effie because in the scene when she’s handing out the gold tokens to Haymitch and Peeta before the games, she says how both Peeta and Katniss deserved so much better and no matter how many times I see this scene, I cry. It just makes me wish that the movies were real so I could go and give Effie a hug. Maybe one day I’ll get to meet Elizabeth Banks and I can be that weirdo fan who says “I just really loved that part in Catching Fire when… I cry every single time!”
Now this is usually the point where I express my less-than-satisfied opinion of one or two aspects of the film but I have to be honest, I loved this film that much that I have nothing negative to say about it. Every facet of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) was an absolute pleasure to witness and I’m waiting on bated breath for the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part One in 2014.