The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013): An Amateur’s Reaction


The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

Written by:  Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, based on the novel “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

The primary reason that books are converted into film is the amount of material that may stirr interest on potential audience. Add the fact that fans of the book will come rushing to movie theaters to experience an audio-visual translation of their beloved text and form tons of criticism afterwards.

As a fan of the Hunger Games Trilogy, with a slighter preference on the second book compared to the other two, I was impressed in the amount of improvement and grandeur employed in this film adaptation compared to the first in the series (although I enjoyed it too).

The most noticable improvement is the non-shaky camera which did not distract us from the scenes and makes us appreciate adn focus more on the epic aspect of adventure in the movie. Second is how close to faithful it is to the book, with some added extras to make it understandable to non-readers without altering greater chunks of the film. It managed to orchestrate details to relate the book’s universe to both readers and non-readers alike. Another point that made it a great interpretation is the expreiencial translation of it. The arena, the districts, and the Capitol are directly pulled out of my mind because of how close the construction of it all compared to how I imagined it while reading the book.

Of course, there were minor misses, like how some aspects of characters slightly changed; for instance, they downplayed Johanna’s annoyance towards Katniss and Finnick’s naturally flirtatious air is slightly not felt. Also, while Jennifer Lawrence’s playing the lead role of Katniss Everdeen is superbly fit for her and her acting, at rare moments, I find her cringes a little bit too much. Most of the cast, especially Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth (playing Katniss’ love interests, Peeta Mellark and Gale Hawthorne, respectively), will yet save their acting prowesses to make it full bloom in the two-part film adaptation in the third book, Mockingjay, which will be something I will be looking forward to.

I recommend that you read Catching Fire first before heading towardsthe cinemas. However, due to the clean storytelling of this film, lazy readers may not need to read. It is one of the best interpretations of books I have read, and more…


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