Directed by Francis Lawrence
Written by Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt and based on the novel by Suzanne Collins
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone & Sam Claflin
I love the first installment of Hunger Games. I went to see it about 1,5 years ago just because of Jennifer Lawrence whom I fell in love when she was on a red carpet at Oscars after being nominated for Winter’s Bone. I adore that girl like the most of the world do. I had bought the first novel but hadn’t read it before seeing the first film. And the first part wasn’t THAT good when I saw it for the first time but it stayed with me and I have seen it now six times. In one and a half years. Even to me, that’s quite a lot. After getting hooked with the film, I read the novels and they were really good! I devoured them, guess it took about a week to read them. And after reading them, I couldn’t wait to see the next part of the films.
And I saw it yesterday! And thankfully, I loved it! And it seemed that so did the most of the audience in the sold-out screening. I thought the second installment is better than the first one. It’s much darker and for the first 45 minutes I felt quite sad. I cried about four times before the first hour was up. And as you might already know, crying at the movies is very important to me. At least if I’m watching a film with, in the end, a heavy subject. Everyone who has read Collins’ books knows that they contain clear society critic and so does the films, especially the second part. After seeing that one, no one should think that killing other people is fun. Even though Catching Fire is dark, it’s not totally miserable. After the first part you get some laughs, thanks to the Capitol people and after that some action. The setting of Arena is not as genuine that it was in the first one but fortunately there is so much more to the story that it doesn’t really matter. I love the way the story is structured; first it’s real and raw, then you get the relief moment and some action that builds up to anger. Very nicely done.
Liam Hemsworth as Gale gets a bit more screen time but he still doesn’t have that much to do. Harrelson and Banks fill their roles easily as does Stanley Tucci. Sutherland gets more time and uses it wisely, he’s very good but not as good as Philip Seymour Hoffman whom I loved. He can be so subtle yet intriguing. Josh Hutcherson is way better than he was in the first part. In The Hunger Games he was this little whiner but this time there’s man inside. And some nice flirtation. And speaking of which, Sam Claflin is ok. He is not as charming as Finnick is in the books but does his duty. And I liked a lot of Jena Malone’s Johanna. But without Jennifer Lawrence’s (again) perfect interpretation of Katniss Everdeen, the whole movie would be wasted. But thankfully she has amazing range of emotions and she’s able to make you feel them too. After seeing Catching Fire, I adore her even more if possible.
And now I want to see the film again! Just writing about it makes me long for it. To me Catching Fire is the second best film of the year after Nebraska. So far. But then again, I like great adventure films, especially the ones with the message, good writing and great cast. This one has them all. Go see it! Here’s an interview of the cast by Geek Nation TV:
Rating: ****½ (out of *****)