The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a Slow Burn with an Explosive Cliffhanger
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is back in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. The film is based on Catching Fire, a novel by world renowned children’s book writer Suzanne Collins. It is the second installment of the science-fiction adventure film series from Lionsgate. The story begins with our protagonists back at District 12 after winning the 74th Hunger Games a year prior. Katniss spends time with her family and tries to reconnect with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth) after her on-screen romance with Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson). After managing to bend the rules in order to survive, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) forces the two tributes into a Victor’s Tour. Katniss and Peeta must once again play their roles as the beginnings of a rebellion brew within the districts. The new Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) introduces the idea of bringing Katniss back to the arena in order to eliminate her in an acceptable manner –complete with a ruined reputation.
We were pleasantly surprised by the intensity of this sequel as it outshines the first with its focus on the cruel, totalitarian government. The gap between the Capitol and the suffering districts is put front and center as anything viewed as a gesture of support for the impending uprising is punished by death. One particular scene comes to mind as Katniss spends time with high society in the Capitol and is told to purge what she has eaten in order to, of course, eat more. Model jokes aside, the depiction of utter extravagance and wastefulness in the Capitol just makes the societal disparity all the more intriguing.