A Review Of The Hunger Games - Catching Fire
A Review Of The Hunger Games - Catching Fire….
I had the pleasure of seeing the first Hunger Games movie and now the other, Hunger Games, Catching Fire, which, for me, is better than the first… maybe it is because the characters have grown into their respective roles, especially Donald Sutherland, who plays the calculating, vicious dictator, President Snow and Jennifer Lawrence, who plays our reluctant shero/heroin, Katniss Everdeen. Do forgive me because I am probably among the few that did not read the book… so, as a consequence, I do not know if the film makers are being loyal to what was written in what must have been a series of popular Hunger Games novels bur what I have seen the silver screen has been awesome.
Perhaps, the first Hunger Games’ movie is getting short shrift from me because of the young combatants whose deaths were jarring, to say the least, to me. And yes, I understood because it was effective plot-wise because it brought home how twisted that society is and to what extent President Snow would go to maintain his fiat-like power. Speaking of President Snow… it is a sickening, entertaining pleasure to witness Mr. Sutherland play the role of the ‘bad guy.’ What makes Mr. Sutherland so viciously effective is the fact that he seldom raises his voice or that he does not wield an axe or a light saber… but although the cadence in his voice is one of accapella ease, his eyes are his Judas that tell you how wicked this man is… being the puppet master for those lives he governs. I am always amazed how wicked these men (dictators) can be, and, yet can go home and kiss their respective children… while murdering others, including young children like their own.
Among the problems at hand for President Snow in Hunger Games, Catching Fire, is that Katniss (Miss Lawrence), the most recent Hunger Games’ winner, is beloved by the Plebeian masses and, ironically, even the Patricians, including President Snow’s own grand daughter. What is a dictator to do when he cannot conspicuously kill Katniss, the face of the ever quickening opposition, due to the fact that all the people seem to be enamored by the latest Hunger Game’s winner… so Katniss’ killing has to be done by stealth by creating another Hunger Game, whereby all the surviving pass Hunger Games’ winners - who incidentally were promised a Midas living - must now compete against each other.
One would think that Katniss would be ‘living-it-up’ and enjoying the perks of being the latest, beloved winner of the Hunger Games - but alas, this is not so because heavy lies the crown. Katniss is being squeezed by President Snow to quell the growing rebellion and she is gingerly walking the fine line of political intrigue to secure the lives of her mother, sister, and boyfriend, and moreover, the poor masses. It is a sheer joy to watch Miss Lawrence’s face to see the conflict… knowing she must choose between her filial obligations and that of the masses that are sometimes at odds. One will see why Miss Lawrence is already an Oscar winner at such a tender young age because of the emotional weight she brings to the role as Katniss Everdseen.
No shero is an island, and so too Katniss needs help to fight the revolution, even if she is a reluctant heroin. This is where Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Lenny Kravitz come in… all playing vital roles in the simmering revolution. Harrelson’s character, in particular, plays the lovable drunk, but effective mentor to Katniss and underscores how important Katniss is to the denizens because he and others are willing to pay the ultimate price for Katniss’ survival. The Hunger Game movies , including this one, have the correct balance of tragedy and comedy, akin to real life and contributing to that balance is the levity provided by the thespian standout Stanley Tucci, whose character is like a futuristic court jester - but who is much better attired. Tucci is so charismatically funny in his role as Caesar Flickerman, one will have the tendency to forget that he is employed by a murderous regime and that he is one of the important cogs that helps to perpetuate the image and fraud that all is well.
The action sequences are well done… working in tandem with the environs; and it is especially impressive too because we know that most of the movie’s backdrop is probably green screen… In addition, it is also brilliant how the characters chosen for combat are unique with their own back stories and seem to have mastered weaponry to fit their personalities. I know those of you who have read the book know how the Hunger Games’ ends, but I for one cannot wait until President Snow gets his well deserved comeuppance and I am hoping it is a vengeful killing that is going to have me applauding for days; however, I, along with many who are fans of the movies and books, will have to wait because last we saw Katniss... she was being freed to go all in since she found out that her family was secured… I have the sweet suspicion that the revolution is lethally coming to President Snow’s home.