Hunger Games Catching Fire (2013): Movie Review

Image courtesy: lionsgate

Fearing for another uprising in which Katniss Everdeen has sparked on the entire districts after the berries incident on the 74th Hunger Games, President Snow of the Capitol was eager to eliminate her. But Plutarch Heavensbee, the new Head Gamemaker suggested to do it "validly". Fortunately, that year is the 75th year ever since the Hunger Games was founded. And every 25 years is marked by a Quarter Quell, a glorified version of the Games to make fresh the memory of those killed by the districts' rebellion. Katniss must be put back to the game to die. To do that, all 24 tributes from the 12 districts must come from the pool of Victors in the games past. Panem must remember the wiped out District 13. And they must know who holds the power.



First, I would like to express my appreciation to the musical scoring in this film. That music playing on the background as the tributes were presented to the Capitol? That was grandiose! I was elated and I could feel the festivity as if I was really there (Like the Empire March of Star Wars). Second, there's no questioning the visual effects. Everything is superb and realistic. And the tropical arena is how I imagined it to be (since I live in a tropical country), although I imagined it would be bigger.

There are times when I couldn't appreciate our tropical country especially with the Rainforests just full of greens. I mean, come on! The greatest when it comes to diversity but it's just green everywhere! I like countries with 4 seasons because the environment would change colors 4 times a year. But because of this film, I just think that tropical rainforests are beautiful and that it would be nice to get lost in the jungle sometimes. Hihi

The second installation to the famous battue movie The Hunger Games live up to its expectations. It is so great that I could yet again compartmentalize my brain while watching the movie and separate myself as if I don't know the story at all. Finally, it is in this movie I could say that bloodbath ain't necessary (unlike the first one where I think it lacked blood). The storyline is well developed that you could actually feel emotions. This is where I salute the script and screenplay writers for giving justice to the book. And I must not forget the director too.

Like the first movie, an hour is allotted to pan the views into watching the distressing situation at District 12. It is here that emotions are being instilled by the movie that you would sympathize for all the people there(That I could rarely extend towards other nations after the aftermath of the Supertyphoon Yolanda in my country. I couldn't imagine something worse than what my country had faced). Another 30 minutes is allowed to build up conflicting emotions towards everything- ill-treated people from other districts (especially that part with District 11), warring romantic and humane emotions, and most especially the selfish government that is the Capitol.

Think about how each year each Victor becomes the Capitol's favorite. By that, by the people residing at the Capitol. And think of the bond that each Victor has established towards the other Victors of the game for different years. After all, Victors are called upon by the Capitol at random times for their different festivities and activities. It is actually heartbreaking to think that you already have a supposed comfort in life ahead of you after the bloody games, with family and friends, only to be taken away at a whim.

I like how Elizabeth Banks portrayed the role of the shockingly colorful Effie Trinket. Apart from her beautiful voice, she has graceful movements. It is heartwarming to know that despite being from the Capitol (you can never judge people just because they're rich and that they haven't experienced what you've gone through), she loves her crew that she gave each of them different golden tokens and said
They must see that we're a team!
Cinna's demise was also very sad. Although it was not as bad as how I imagined it.

Images hereon are courtesy of HollywoodReporter and must be credited to Lionsgate

Most Remembered Victors (Tributes):

  • The very beautiful brother and sister Cashmere and Gloss from District 1

  • (supposedly very handsome) Finnick Odair and very old female tribute Madge called Mags from District 4

  • Morphling (or hallucinative drugs) addicts from District 6 who won their games by hiding until everybody died
  • Open-mouthed and lively Johanna Mason from District 7 who won her game by pretending she's a weakling

  • Dazed woman and nerdy man known as Wiress and Beetee from District 3 (whom Johanna calls as Nuts and Volts

  • The man from district 11 who pecked Katniss on the lips while they were being introduced

I just noticed a lot of unnecessary kissing scenes in this movie. For one, Katniss and Gale have kissed only once in the book. And that was Gale initiating it, proclaiming his love towards Katniss that she couldn't deal with as she's still overwhelmed by a lot of things going on in Panem. Their first kiss that you'd see in this movie? That was just it supposedly.

But I like how romance was not pushed in this movie. There's romance but it isn't the focus of the story nor would it bother you seeing a bit of romance here if you haven't read the books. Peeta and Katniss kissing? That looks so natural. No wonder Jennifer Lawrence won the Oscars for a different movie, Katniss looks very convincing that she really cares for Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson).

Watching the movie, you'd realize that the story is something big. Like what Finnick Odair said to Katniss,
Remember who the real enemy is.
Like the Survivor Games (one of the inspirations of the book), alliances will be made. Trust will be risked in the story, and there's suspicion among the people in the Capitol. The world of Panem will be shaken and you'd be left intrigued and must be looking forward to seeing the third and last installment of The Hunger Games that is Mockingjay.

On a side note, the release of this movie in my country is very much in time. The Supertyphoon Yolanda hit is staggeringly phenomenal. It's not just about the damages it dealt to infastructure and such, nor the deaths it tolled, but the trouble it dished out to the ROTTEN national government. The apocalypse is the thing today that comes in all varieties from fallen angels, climate change, government rebellion, nuclear warfare to zombies. What Yolanda did showed us how much we aren't prepared to face huge calamities. Worse, that our government is handicapped to help its people. Instead of uplifting our spirits, we were showered with blames, pointing their fingers at the local government for "not doing their part". Can't the National Government (or Capitol) see that everyone is affected? Lives are lost, businesses shattered, properties destroyed. How can a captain sail through the seas without a boat? Why didn't they just help hand-in-hand from the first day? Why act after more than a week?

But I have to admit that I was amused and fascinated watching the news on tv. I live in Cebu and with the National Government failing to rescue the people of our neighbor islands, our local Cebu Government (with the help of DSWD) took charge in handling the distribution of relief goods and other foreign aides (thanks to Anderson Cooper of CNN!). Looting is everywhere and the people act like zombies.

Not knowing the people of the rebellion (or Resistance), at least Katniss Everdeen gave hope to the people of Panem that our National Government wasn't able to do. Well, it's been two weeks now and it's time for movies.

1 Comment

  1. Nice review. Not as good as the first, but still tense and epic in its own right. Something tells me this next installment is really going to kick it all up a notch.


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