“Catching Fire,” the long-awaited sequel to “The Hunger Games,” astounded audiences with intense action scenes and fantastic costume designs.
This movie continues where the first left off with Katniss Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (played by Josh Hutcherson) facing the consequences of their rash actions in the Hunger Games. Uprisings that were hinted at in the first movie come to a head in this one with the advent of the 75th Annual Hunger Games and the Third Quarter Quell. A Quarter Quell is supposed to happen every twenty-five years and instates a special twist to the Hunger Games that changes each time.
In this Quarter Quell, two victors from each district in previous Hunger Games were sent as tributes.
Although the movie didn’t follow all of the smaller details from the book, the overall plot was the same. The book, written by Suzanne Collins, is told in the first-person perspective of Katniss. To deal with this, the film had to add scenes not mentioned in the book to provide some background on why some of the actions in the movie take place.
Like the first “Hunger Games” film, the cinematography involved many ‘shaky camera’ scenes to parallel the first-person narration in the books. In contrast, the scenes where Katniss is not present are filmed with slow camera pans to provide a third-person point of view.
The acting in the movie was alright; a few characters spoke in mumbles or barely reacted to dramatic events. This could have been on purpose to reflect how the characters were written in the book. For example, President Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) subtle and quiet speech in the movie seems to be inspired by his snake-like description in the book.
The special effects were simplistic, but amazing to see. All television screens were replaced with holograms projected into the air. Many of the animals, or ‘Mutts’ as they are often called in the books and movies, were computer generated but looked like real animals. Naturally, pyrotechnics were a staple with cloths being set on fire without harm to the wearers and sparks raining from the invisible walls as contact was made with them.
The book often alluded to the garb of the Capitol as gaudy and silly, but the movie made it all seem chic and fabulously beautiful. They should all look like they belong in a Dr. Seuss book.
There are two dresses in particular that stand out. The first is worn by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks). It looks like a simple orange sundress from afar, but up close it can be seen that the dress is made up of thousands of monarch butterflies. Their wings were placed in various poses to make it seem as though they had all just landed on her body. The second dress is Katniss’s wedding gown. It is a white strapless piece with a wide skirt. When she spins, it catches fire and burns away to reveal a shimmering black gown complete with large bird wings that seem to come from nowhere.
This is a good movie for someone to see if he or she enjoyed the first Hunger Games movie or the book. It is also a good movie for those who just enjoy young adult dystopian fiction movies.