I was waiting and waiting and waiting for this second installment to come out because honestly, the first film caught me off guard in the best way. Before the film franchise began, I hadn’t heard of Suzanne Collins – I’m a Penguin Classics person myself. But during my months of unemployment in 2012, visiting the cinema in my hobo PJs to watch some movie or the other, I saw the trailer for The Hunger Games and I was blown away. So I watched it and I was totally hooked. Following that, I read the trilogy in a week. And watched the movie over and over again until I semi got over the epicness of teenagers in a death fight and Peeta romantically touching Katniss’ hair before they take those fatal berries together in the end.
So yes, I was pressed for the second film. Pressed like a drunk girl in a long queue to some festival toilets. On the day it came out – I made all the necessary arrangements. Movies (Cinema visits) are like my Oscars – I pretty much go all out for them. Well, in terms of clearing my schedule and avoiding all who haven’t learnt the art of proper fangirling. I dress a little nicer than usual as well, I think. Catching Fire did not disappoint, AT ALL. The first trick is not to be too much of an ‘I read the book’ snob. No-one cares and you’re making the experience sucky for yourself and no-one else. I mean, sure you’re allowed to notice the irregularities and maybe be hacked – but if that’s your opening reaction, just curtain call your movie franchise life right now. Catching Fire discarded that whole POV, shaky camera thing which bothered a lot of people with the previous film. And because (I’m sure) the budget allowed for a little more fun with graphics and make-up and stunts, everything was blockbuster quality and in your face, suhn.
The general feel was an inquisitive one, and I’m speaking for people who didn’t read the books or wikipedia the rest of the story. Like, what happens next? Will she go and mentor someone else like Haymitch did with her? Like maybe one of Gale’s younger bros, whom she’ll probs make out with to save his life? Will we ever see the arena again? So people went into that one quite hungry for development and, I daresay, the result was a thing of beauty.
There will be minor spoilers from here on out. If you haven’t watched the film yet… skaam!
So in a weird twist of fate Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in the arena but this time they’re fighting other victors from Hunger Games past (ouch) because Katniss’ life sucks and President Snow really truly hates her guts (next to being a creepy old homicidal maniac). So my reaction to an arena with ‘all experienced killers’? FOK JA! But I had to wait a bit because the first half of the movie was quite domestic. Katniss in her new life as a person with all the food she could ask for, rocking some warm looking and pretty trendy jerseys all the time. And after having Gale ‘Hunk of the Decade’ Hawthorne avoids her for a bit – while she avoided Peeta – they meet at the usual spot and tonsil hockey. Am I allowed to say that kiss made me feel some kind of way? Like, I wouldn’t mind a coupling of two forest hunting tall people? Please don’t kill me for saying that, Peeta is a great guy. But as Haymitch said, “[Katniss] could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.” *sigh*
Naturally I googled who got cast for which role beforehand and I really liked what I saw, Enobaria, Brutus, Cashmere, Gloss (It’s very important to cast the perfect career pack because they’re also eye candy). I loved them all EXCEPT Finnick Odair. Because I’d fallen so much in love with the character in the book I was really hectic about who portrayed him and Sam Claflin? I just couldn’t. And I was wrong. That young British man slayed that role, as they do. And one of my favourite Hunger Games characters was brought to life in a stunningly charming/tender yet risky/sexy way. Speaking of favourites, Johanna Mason! What a woman! Sidenote: I love her more than I love Katniss. SorryNotSorry. I mean, it’s a known that I love people with friggin cool and unorthodox murder weapons so why wouldn’t I be obsessed with the unapologetic hatchet wielding chick from District 7?
The ending sets us up for a huge thing because firstly, we know there won’t be another arena situation because, wtf Plutarch Heavensbee?! And we know Peeta has gone and gotten himself in another situation where he needs saving. I don’t know how they’re gonna top this movie – they probably won’t – but god speed to them and I can’t wait!
Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be ever in your favour.