Catching Fire - The Hunger Games - Movie Review
Part Two of the Hunger Games Trilogy
I saw Catching Fire last night with my family. I had worked a long day and received a text as I was leaving work, asking if I wanted to go. I didn't hesitate a minute! We all went as a family as I was very curious how this movie would play out.
Catching Fire did not disappoint. In fact, I liked this movie more than the first one. I was kind of shocked at the content and story line initially, as it seemed like it was based on a children's book though full of very serious content like having to kill others to survive. Really, it is for older kids and adults. The books of course are more intense and descriptive which is no surprise.
For those that don't know the basic story line, people are playing in the Hunger Games for their own life, and represent the districts they are from. It comes from a time when things are vastly different from now, though there is still a capital, a president, and a way that societies are run.
In some ways, it shows the playing out of an idea of how a society can decline in many ways, and what results or follows from that. You see many concepts playing out, if you pay attention. I did take a great notice of these ideas and how scary it is when it runs with them Then an incredible story is created out of that. Not faulting the author, this is how many great books and movies are written and produces.
Many ideas are countenanced if you pay attention. Ideas like lack of respect for human life and dignity, and ability to make sport of it. The dying of the others isn't really such a big deal, etc. You see the "powers that be", tyrannical forms of government being allowed to do what it pleases to the point that it fears even the ideas of a revolution of those that aren't really too keen on being taken over in such ways.
There is a God, or all powerful force, type of concept playing out. It struggles of course with the dealing of what to do morally in very life and death situations. It goes without saying that survival of the fittest is another key idea playing out, but the difference here is that it is only allowed to play out to the degrees the power allows it too. You can be the best survivor in this story line, and still not survive due to evil and tyrannical forces or terror put upon you. All seemingly at will. In the mean time, more is going on behind the scenes that only a few know about, not including the main players. That is fascinating.
In the mean time, the society that is "doing well" and thriving in the area around the capitol, are doing so while losing their moral compass it seems. They enjoy the sport of it all and there are again scenes reminiscent of the old Roman Colosseum days.
In this movie, they are in the 75th year of the Hunger Games. There is a mix up in the usual way they are doing the hunger games, as people are seeming to nearly want to rise up against the greater powers over them.
First, as the winners of the game, both Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have to go out on a what is called a "Victor's Tour" of the other districts. Jennifer Lawrence, and Josh Hutcherson play these two amazing characters. There is a struggle that ensues in standing up in front of all the downtrodden people of the various disctricts. Part of what is happening is remembering the fallen from before. It shows the brutality of those that express some goodness back to Katniss and the fallen, as if the esteeming of good things is a great evil. It is the new beginning of a deeper darkness that Katniss has to struggle with. This plays out in part, in the fact she struggles with what seems to be PTSD and nightmares. If you know the story, this is surely no surprise.
So they refine their speeches in the next district and the next, to stick to the cues though the people see right through it and want the truth over lies. That would be true of all of us I think. After this time of the depressing tour that was meant to inspire the people, there is a new game with new twists. Frankly, I am amazed at the writers ability to come up with all of this, and it is very interesting to me. I say this in observance of what I see going on in both current events and our own world history I combine that with the ideas I see that we as people esteem across the board, when we look at our favorite movies the heroes and villains, etc. I mean this for people of all walks of life, generally speaking. Books and movies are written for what we seem to know deep down, inherently, as humans. That is another topic really, for another day.
It is hard to watch as the beautiful main character Katniss and Peeta and there family and friends struggle to live a life that seems so almost literally dark at times. Dark and colorless, are adjectives that come to mind. Really, the philosophies observed in this capture me maybe more than anything else.
At this point in the plot, the games are ready to begin and this is where I don't want to say too much lest I be a spoiler for this well written and produced movie. To be honest, I wasn't sure if I liked it before, not totally. Now I am sure that I do and for particular reasons that might surprise some people. It really is fascinating and worth the watch.
On a completely different note, the previews and length and amount of them were amazingly long it seemed! I had to wonder if everyone didn't want their own movie previewed before this movie particularly, because they knew so many would be there. As it goes, my family goes to the movies like we did last night, next to never! So it makes sense as that might play out across the board with many more viewers than normal.
Favorite ideas and themes to play out in this movie are morality, tenacity, family, friends, romantic love, evil and how it plays out and that struggle, among many more. There is incredible acting through out. Costume and design has some great fun as well. The part that chilled me to the bone was at the very end. It seems a series of things communicated through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen. I mean literally through her eyes, as she is processing the events that have unfolded and hears about what has happened to her district, District 12. It isn't too often that you see a pair of eyes convey what they do as you see here. Many things conveyed through a look. It is remarkable and will make you want to know, have to know, what happens next. I am told the third book is the most intense of all and I can't wait for that movie to come out! It has been a while since I gasped and gripped my chest and tensed up in a movie as this! A great movie, worth seeing in theaters for the big screen and sound. A very very fascinating and interesting movie on many levels. There are many parallels in this, that can be observed in life. Watch for them.
"Somethings different, I can see it."
"What do you see?"
Those are my my favorite lines of this movie, with Primrose Everdeen, Katniss' sister speaking of hope there.
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