The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review: The Girl on Fire keeps burning, but not as bright (2023)

The Hunger Games: Catching Fireis the rare intelligent mainstream film full of compelling characters and emotional weight.

kAtniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), "The Girl on Fire," is no ordinary heroine: she's smart, deadly with a bow and arrow, strong and brave, but above all her compassion is her superpower. Your love for your sister Prim is so strong that inhunger games, she risks her life by volunteering to take Prim's place in the televised battle of life and death of the same name, which involves two "tribute" children, a boy and a girl, from each of the 12 districts of Panem compete against each other. Growing up, she supported her family through poaching, a skill that makes her deadly in the arena. But it's her strength of character and the constructed and actively acted out romance for the cameras with her district tribute boy, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), whom she staunchly protects even when he's a liability that wins her games. .

That such a strong, independent woman could be the focus of an action film in which emotional content is more important than emotion is unprecedented in Hollywood. Especially considering that Gary Rosshunger gamesand the sequel by Francis LawrenceThe Hunger Games: Catching Firethey are anything but chick flicks. by Rosshunger gamesit was as good as it got because of Jennifer Lawrence's superb performance as Katniss Everdeen;The Hunger Games: Catching Fireit also rests entirely on your shoulders. Lawrence's captivating performance is at its best in close-ups that show a multitude of conflicting emotions: her fear, her determination, her compassion, her staged love, and the fine line as a love performance leads to real love.

(Video) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Free HD Audiobooks

Katniss Everdeen's strength as a character is what makes it soThe Hunger Games: Catching Fireso convincing. The film tells the haunting story of a girl who slowly loses everything she holds dear, only to be thrown back into the hell that brought her there: the arena of another Hunger Games, this time against past victors. Director Lawrence lets us see Katniss' devastation and the determination she gives to fight for what she believes in: saving Peeta in the games and even unwittingly starting a revolution through acts of kindness and compassion. She has no debilitating feelings or coldness like Stein: she is real and complicated and doesn't fit any stereotypes. It's the driving force behind the books and still very much present in the film: her journey of becoming the face of the rebellion is her emotional journey, which is why following her through the turmoil is exciting and satisfying, but never manageable. Director Lawrence ensures we're always in the moment with Katniss and showcases the devastating brutality of the horrors Katniss witnessed and lived through. The result is an extremely lively, direct and emotionally intense film.

Some key nuances of Katniss' fight are lost in the film translation. There is an important meta-narrative in the book,On fire, about the stories Katniss tells publicly - her romance with Peeta - and privately - that Gale (Liam Hemsworth) is her best friend and only potential husband, even as the private tale grows less and less true. In the film, we're no longer in Katniss' head - and Jennifer Lawrence gets us there as much as possible without an inner monologue - so we're not full witness to the conflicting stories she tells herself and how they begin to unravel. 🇧🇷 Meanwhile, there's the story of what's really going on: In the book, Katniss and Gale grow apart because the glue of each other's needs is gone, while Peeta is the only one who can really bring comfort to Katniss. While we see her relationship with Peeta fleshed out in the film, the shift in both of those relationships is often unclear in the film, especially since Gale is the first person to comfort Katniss with her nightmarish hallucinations.

WithinThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Peeta's complexities are realized better than in the first film: we see his wry wit, his anger at the Capitol, his collected calm, his occasional impenetrability, and his love for Katniss. But even the extremes of his personality are moderate. Because of the injury he sufferedhunger gamesThe movie wasn't as strict on film as he was in the books - he lost his leg in the books - we don't get the same sense of his physical vulnerability or sacrifice. How he no doubt helps Katniss with her post-game nightmares and helps her get through all public performances also helps make their romance more real than the book portrays, but is only part of the book. Movie. Her devotion to him is no longer so clearly motivated.

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In order to maintain narrative tension, the film must hide or mix up events in the book. Katniss, as the narrator of the books, is often unaware of what's going on around her - Peeta even saying several times that "she has no idea what effect she can have" - ​​meaning it takes her five events to figure it out What happened? an audience could discover from the on-screen action of a single event. But there are many sacrifices to the characters and their relationships in the process, particularly the full impact of the shared trauma that unites Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson). As Haymitch explains, nobody wins games; they just survive.

Although the film is a fairly faithful adaptation of the book - most of the main dialogue remains intact - there are many instances where a single line has been trimmed, which was necessary to maintain narrative complexity, or where a new abbreviation sheds important tones of meaning away. Meaning. When Katniss proposes that she and Peeta get married to hedge her bets on keeping the charade going, he agrees and abruptly leaves, and the scene ends with relatively little drama; In the book, Peeta storms off, much to Katniss' confusion, and Haymitch explains that this is because "he wanted it to be real". Haymitch also became very apologetic, rather than the caustic, self-conscious boozer of the books. The result is that many of the nuances in the books that made re-reading rewarding are absent in the films.

(Video) CATCHING FIRE is BRUTAL! (Movie Commentary)

WhenThe Hunger Games: Catching FireWhen Katniss and Peeta return to the games, everything is meant to be fundamentally different from the first round, but the film often downplays these differences. We understand that the other Tributes are more intimidating—all seasoned assassins—but the District 12 couple are no longer just slaughterhouses either: they're part of a band of allies who are hard to trust. But when Peeta drops another bombshell in the pre-game interview — that Katniss is pregnant — it has little effect, whereas in the books it empowered Katniss. The script only allows Haymitch to comment on it once and never returns to it during games, so its impact is lost. What is very clear is that in the first few games Peeta wanted to risk everything to save Katniss, now they both plan to sacrifice themselves to save each other.

Her allies are near-perfect portrayals of the characters from the books, enriching the films' universe and adding plenty of humor. There's Finnick O'Dair (Sam Claflin), the outrageously handsome winner who has more empathy than he cares to show; the provocative Johanna Mason (Jenna Malone), who won by pretending to be weak; the smart and socially awkward Beetee (Jeffrey Wright); and the quick-witted but slightly troubled Wiress (Amanda Plummer). But the film lacks the sardonic ease that characterized the victors' interactions in the arena, their means of maintaining sanity in an impossible situation.

The fact that Francis Lawrence's film managed to capture up to 40% of the intensity of the Suzanne Collins books, which are Mack's emotional truckloads, makes the film both moving and enriching.The Hunger Games: Catching Firedoes an admirable job of covering these very complex and dense books despite their shortcomings, but this could lead to more serious problems in the years to come.Soormovies. Nonetheless,The Hunger Games: Catching Fireis the rare intelligent mainstream film full of compelling characters and emotional weight. It just might be the best blockbuster of the year.

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