The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Review
To many people The Hunger Games franchise is a great film adaption of a novel since maybe Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However, to those others it is simply just a series of entertaining and great films. Believe it or not I have read the novels and I found them quite entertaining then to watch it in film, like always there is very much a lot to live up to, it is quite fascinating and exciting. But from being a fan of the novels I’m not complaining. I found the film very much a great adaption to the novel but what got me immersed into the film was not all the teen romance (pretentious but understandable), the CGI effects but oddly the portrayal of an aspect of males that is uncommon in numerous films, being Peeta Mellark portrayed by Josh Hutcherson. Besides that it is enjoyable film that is quiet undoubtedly turning into one of the best film adaptions of a series of novels franchise, if that makes any sense. The story is easy to follow, the acting is by far superior than its predecessor film and the killing, well its a film marketed towards teenagers so go figure.
Well anyway, back to the selling point. First off, I would like to say that I found this portrayal of males so engaging and relatable that it made me sympathise and empathise for the character. To those who are unaware of his character, Peeta Mellark is a character in both the novels and the films that is well not the average type of male an audience can relate to or are even exposed to in films. For instance, his well known talents include baking, painting, camouflage and maybe carrying heavy stuff (so like strength). Peeta, unlike many of the other individuals is not as violent so he is very much down on the scale of cool points. The portrayal, I felt was so spot on about how some males in this day and age are not the jack-of-all-trades, are not the ones who can fix a tire, or not the ones who can build a tree fort but here we have a character who is just not so very average or average (depending on your perception) who was the willingness and courage to persevere through obstacles thrown at him and keep going no matter the outcome. That’s what sold me in this film; his attitude and personality out weighed the traits he lacked.
Now with that out of the way, the story picks up from the previous film in which a revolution is slowly developing throughout the twelve districts of Panem, which in turn lands Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark back into the Hunger Games. The story is very easy to follow, having not read the novels or have the audience should be able to catch on with how the story unfolds. And yes, there is a lot of Easter eggs for the die hard fans but, like always, the execution is questionable and debatable about how these events came to be in the final production. The one thing I found that lacked in this film was the significance of themes of freedom and independence. This is, in my opinion what I wanted to experience the most in this film. In the novels, it is understandable as it is filled within the pages. But if this was evident more in the film I would have very much appreciated that. I may sound very nit-picky but experiencing these themes, in my opinion (I may be alone or may not), on film triggers and stimulates something in me to appreciate the film and the efforts of those involved in the film more.
All in all, this was a great film to watch and experience. Yes I may, or may not, have come off as a sexist without the mention of Jennifer Lawrence but in short, she was flawless; she embodies the character, enough said. But what sold me was most definitely is the portrayal of an uncommon aspect of males by Josh Hutcherson. I recommend that those watching the film experience this with an open mind and have no expectations coming into it as it is a film adapted from a novel marketed towards the, most likely, teen fan-boys/girls so chill out and just be entertained. In summation, underneath all the romance, action, CGI, and everyone involved for the production of this film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is beyond the struggle of individuals through a modern gladiator-esc game, it is a story mirroring the injustice of corrupted authorities abusing their power on the weak. May sound deep yes, but that is the way I see a film, its simply more than just entertainment to me. Enjoy your screening.