Movie Analysis: ‘Hunger Games Catching Fire’

Each film in “The Hunger Games” saga brings a different taste of what the fictional world of Panem looks like.

Catching Fire is the second film in the Hunger Games series. Image courtesy of Live Journal.

A brief synopsis from IMDB reads, “Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.”

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was released in2013. It was directed by Francis Lawrence and written by Simon Beaufoy and Michael Arnds.

Although most of the cast was the same, some new characters were added such as Fidnnick Odair who is a victor who gets called back to the 75th Hunger Games. Fidnnick Odair is played by Sam Claflin. Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Pluterch Heavensbee, the new game maker for the 75th annual Hunger Games.

“Catching Fire” has won over 20 awards. One of them was from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films for Best Costumes in 2014.

“Catching Fire” was the highest-grossing film with a post-apocalyptic setting as well as the highest-grossing movie based on a young adult novel according to IMDB. Around 2013, many books were starting to get adapted into films. The budget was $1.3 billion and the film grossed over $400 million in the US alone.

I should have clarified this in the first analysis, but I read all three books after watching the first movie in theaters. I love these films so much and I thoroughly enjoy how accurate they are to the books. There are some criticisms I have against the movies, but this is my favorite out of all of the films and I think I realized why.

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“Catching Fire” is a perfect sequel. When making a sequel, there are a couple of things you need to do. Firstly, you need to expand or adapt ideas that are established in the first film and “Catching Fire” does this perfectly. With the new problem of what happens after the Hunger Games to the civil unrest that Katniss has caused, “Catching Fire” expands and lets the characters adapt to this new problem they are in. The new variable of them having to go back to the torture that is the Hunger Games and the writers doing it in a way that feels organic is amazing.

In Catching Fire the victors of the Hunger Games go back to play the games again. Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

The costumes in “Catching Fire” are also incredible. You really get to see how the people in The Capitol live their life with these lavish parties and dresses. The fact that each person in The Capitol has a different outfit, hairstyle, and personality is amazing to me and shows how detailed the costume designers were.

I remember reading the part in the book when Katniss spins around and her wedding dress turns into a mocking jay dress and I was a little disappointed to see that there wasn’t a fireball transition.

Spoiler warning for the rest of the article.

There were several moments in the book that were much more dramatic than the film’s interpretation. For example, the scene where one of the people from District 11 gets shot for doing the salute of the revolution. In the movie, Katniss and Peeta actually see this happen and Katniss goes on for a chapter about how traumatic it is for her.

One of my favorite moments in the film is during the climax when Katniss shoots the arrow into the forcefield. While rewatching “Catching Fire” I remembered how amazing of an actress Jennifer Lawrence is. I can’t think of another person who could play Katniss Everdeen as well as she did.

The final shot of the film with Katniss laying on a medical bed in District 13 was a perfect way to end the film. Throughout “Catching Fire,” Katniss is constantly trying to protect Peeta and this scene is when she realizes that the Capitol has captured him and she might not be able to see him again. She isn’t sad, she’s mad at The Capitol and the fact that the Hunger Games even exist. Katniss is ready to be the face of the revolution  the mocking jay.

Do you have any recommendations on what films I should look into next? Send your suggestions to [email protected]