Right- that was my extremely quick summary.... back to Catching Fire! Katniss and Peeta go on their Victor's Tour after winning the games and visit every district, where Katniss can sense the beginning of a rebellion. As a means of keeping control over Katniss and Peter to prevent a rebellion, President Snow orders that previous tributes from each district will be chosen to be a part of the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Katniss and Peeta then end up going back into the games- where everything has completely changed.
Although I was hooked by Catching Fire from the beginning, I initially saw it as quite depressing due to the somewhat defeated nature of Katniss' character, as it was clear of the emotional toll that the brutality of The Hunger Games had on her. However, I soon realised that this was an essential aspect of Katniss as not only did it allow the film to remain true to the book, but we could see how Katniss gradually developed from her fearful self into a courageous and determined individual who acted as a symbol of the rebellion. Despite my initial thoughts, the film managed to perfectly capture the essence of how much the districts were struggling and how they wanted to rebel against the system so that they could live better lives. Admittedly, this period leading up to the games dragged on a bit, but this is subject to opinion and the games were definitely worth waiting for.
What I loved about the film was the wide mix of both old and new characters, the character of Katniss played by Jennifer Lawrence still being my favourite. Jennifer was so convincing in the raw emotions that she gave Katniss, effectively showing Katniss at her weakest points and most determined moments, without coming across as a typical courageous character from some sort of ironic action movie. Josh Hutcherson who played Peeta was also true to form, but oh wow my heart did ache for him when he and Katniss were together and he looked at her with love in his eyes. I won't draw much on the new characters so that I won't spoil it for you- but what I can say is that there are a versatile range of new characters that enter the games and, if you have read the books, they are likely to be very true to the image you may have conjured of them when reading Catching Fire.
Whilst Catching Fire is not a scary film, it is certainly not one for the faint hearted as its sheer intensity means that you will literally be sitting on the edge of the seat and temporarily living your life through the perspective of Katniss Everdeen. There is an ever present tension in the film due to the growing sense of a rebellion which further adds to the intensity for the cinema goer, as well as allowing the film to pick up its pace so that- in relation to my earlier point- it doesn't start to drag on. Another way in which the pace picked up was through the use of cinematography and graphics. District 12 is supposed to seem bleak, grey and dull so that when Katniss and Peeta are in the games, the graphics create a vivid contrast to the ashen District 12 and we see the dangerous, brutal and life threatening world that they have been forced back into.
I could write and write and write for days and I would not convey just how AMAZING Catching Fire was. It is rare that I think a film is just as good as the book, but in this case, Catching Fire matched the book. When considering some of the most dramatic scenes within the film, it even managed to top the book as due to some of the complex imagery within the book (from in the actual Hunger Games) I remember finding it slightly difficult to paint a complete picture in my mind, whereas the graphics of the film clearly illustrated what was happening and added to the sense of drama in the film. If you get the chance to see The Hunger Games, I would strongly recommend you go. If you're the emotional sort like me in films, there is a chance that you will shed a tear or two, so it would make sense to bring a few tissues along! But on a serious note, if you watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, you will spend a good two hours lost in the nation of Panem, searching with Katniss for the solution to the impending rebellion and plunged into The Hunger Games with low chances of survival.