My thoughts on Catching Fire

catching fireI loved Catching Fire, the movie. A lot more than I did the book. Which is unusual.

My major complaint with the book was that it seemed to repeat the same story and themes as the Hunger Games (the first book in the trilogy). It suffered from a lack in progression of the overall story arc. Katniss goes back into the arena to fight for her life. Yeah, whatever.

The movie sticks really close to the novel as I remember it — except for some reason I liked it a whole heap more. Maybe this was because I already knew what the story was and had accepted it. Or maybe it’s because the movie highlighted all the differences really well. Not sure.

For those who haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet, I’ll summarise the basic plot:

It’s set in the future dystopian nation of Panem, which comprises 12 oppressed ‘districts’ and a central dissipated ‘capital’.ย Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Malark, winners of the recent Hunger Games (a barbaric reality TV show in which children from each district are annually forced to fight each other to the death), are trying to integrate back into their lives in district 12. But Katniss has attracted the attention of the not-so-nice President Snow, who sees her as a trouble-maker, and resolves to eradicate her and other past winners by sending them back into the arena…

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen is fabulous. The rest of the cast is great too, but she truly shines — no surprises she’s one of the youngest ever Oscar winners (for Silver Linings Playbook earlier this year).ย 

Whereas The Hunger Games introduces you to this horrible world, Catching Fire does a lot more to show the brutality and oppression of the districts, thereby paving the way for the rebellion that is to follow. Because the movie broadens the viewpoint (the book is limited to Katniss’s first person narrative), the viewer is granted a deal more insight into the overall situation — especially President Snow’s scheming and the desperate plotting of a small rebel group. Somehow the ins and outs of the plot are a whole lot clearer in the movie.

The movie is beautiful to look at and exciting. The costumes are vivid (and they wear some truly wacky outfits in the capital), and each of Katniss’s show costumes are stunning (after all, it is a reality TV show!). Definitely many thumbs up from me!

***

Today’s blog theme is ‘which holiday movie do you love this year and why’. Catching Fire is the only recent film I’ve seen, so it’s a good thing I loved it! I’ll post links to other contributions as they come up.

Also, check out this far more thorough (and a little spoilerific) post from Siri Paulson on Catching Fire – book versus movie.

16 comments

  1. I think movies come out better than the books sometimes because of the necessary editing &/or refocusing that goes on during the translation to a script. A lot of the time it doesn’t work,but sometimes it does. I’m thinking of Harry Potter and the Order Of The Phoenix, which was a way better movie, because it got to the bones of the story without all the dithering adolescent angst. I’m also thinking of the way the first Hobbit movie emphasized the political undercurrents that set up The Lord Of The Rings. Peter Jackson called stuff out that I only half-remembered from the book, and though perhaps he made some of it up, it all felt like it fit. Hmm…and I might have just come up with my own blog post idea…
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

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    1. My pleasure. It seems quite a few people have been a bit ‘meh’ about the book, only to enjoy the movie a whole lot more. It will be interesting to see what they do with Mockingjay parts 1 & 2… ๐Ÿ˜€

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  2. I saw Catching Fire too and LOVED it, much better than The Hunger Games. Maybe because when I saw The Hunger Games, it was right after I read the book, but it’s been a while since I read Catching Fire so that may have had something to do with it.

    I give it a way way thumbs up too ~ really enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. So far I like Catching Fire better too. But I never saw The Hunger Games in the cinema (cos I hadn’t read it yet) and that could have something to do with it. I think I’ll watch the DVD again very soon…

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