After watching the hunger games (2012), I wasn’t that excited about continuing with the sequels as the first film failed to satisfy all the expectations I have had, especially witnessing all the hype in social media. I enjoyed reading the book “catching fire” as it wasn’t just about teenagers killing each other while it is being telecasted live across Panem. Catching fire introduced a completely different premise where people have finally grouped to form a rebellion against the draconian Capitol. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is seen as the symbol of the rebellion and she is forced to participate in the games as a part of president Snow’s (Donald Sutherland) clever schemes. After knowing that the sequels will be directed by Francis Lawrence, I knew that the film will have a minimum guarantee. I was right. Catching fire is the best film from the series due to the suspense, surprise elements introduced throughout the movie and the final twist.
Katniss Everdeen lives her life in Victor’s village, suffering from post-traumatic stress. She and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are forced to go on a tour where she sees many people who are ready to rebel. Katniss and Peeta play out as much as they could in favour of the Capitol after witnessing Capitol’s barbaric acts and after Snow warned her of dire consequences. Amidst all this, Snow announces the quarter quell where the tributes will be chosen from the existing pool of victors. Thus, both Katniss and Peeta are forced to go to the arena again.
If the film, as a sequel, had the similar premise then it would have been boring. The writers upgraded the storyline such that we will feel the difference between both these films. This film does not focus on killing, elements of surprises and twists are added here and there that will make the audience sit at the edge of their seats. Katniss learned how to survive and she shows compassion to the ones who are at a disadvantage, Wiress, Beetie, and Mags. At the same time, she keeps an eye on those who can’t be trusted. I liked the character Finnick (Sam Clafin), who is shown as someone who is tough and manipulative but he has a backstory that makes him vulnerable in front of everyone else. That is visible in his eyes at the end of the movie. Joanna (Jena Malone) is a daring person who is not afraid of speaking her mind because she has nothing to lose. Katniss teams up with a group in order to survive the games and they discover that the arena is in the form of a time-based set-up with different forms of traps triggering as per the time interval. This premise is cleverly done in the films and the pacing is much better. The final climax makes it even better.
This is one film where I admired Woody Harrelson’s performance, notably in the scene where he shields Katniss when a peacekeeper was about to shoot her. He is slick and clever and does what is essential, taking a stand against the Capitol. Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth stuck to their cores, but Peeta is sometimes annoying as he consistently walks into a trap and had to be saved several times. But the way Katniss and Peeta try to protect each other in the arena is well executed. Jennifer Lawrence dominates the film and she gets better and better with each performance. She embodied Katniss in a way that people will admire her for it.
The visual effects have improved a lot, thankfully due to Francis Lawrence’s direction. The pacing of the film is much better and we won’t feel the time passage and in addition to that, we won’t feel like waiting till the games begin.I loved the song “atlas” by Coldplay. Just like “Abraham’s daughter” from the hunger games, “atlas” describes the mood of the audience after the film is over. Catching fire is worth your time as the films talks about relationships, ethics and power of the people, however, being dominated by those with power.