To start things off, I’m amazed. Absolutely and truly amazed. I’ve seen a lot of movies this year, but Catching Fire has earned the place of my top movie of 2013. It was everything I was hoping for, filmed fantastically, and executed very well. I’ve read the books, as that is no secret, and I will try my best to refrain from comparing the movie to the book, though the movie was 98% faithful to the book. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more faithful adaptation of a book to movie. So, where do we begin?
How about the director? Francis Lawrence! I was really nervous two years ago when they announced that they were switching up the director’s. I did enjoy the first movie, but I can respect that some people didn’t like the shaky cam. I think the first movie did a good job at setting up a gritty world, but Francis Lawrence took the world to a whole new level in Catching Fire. The shaky cam is gone, which is perfect because it allows more focus on the characters that we know and have come to love. This works really well because it allows us to actually get inside Katniss’ head, just like the books did. The cinematography was stunning and breathless at times. Amidst that, the overall tone and feel of the directing was very crisp and professional. Extraordinary job, Francis! I’m very glad he is directing the next two movies.
Jennifer Lawrence, folks. Jennifer freaking Lawrence. She was amazing in the first film, hands down. She outdoes herself in Catching Fire. She is perfect as Katniss Everdeen, and she breathes so much life into this complex character. Coming off of winning an Oscar, her performance seemed to elevate the movie onto a whole new level.
There are scenes where her facial expressions show her inner conflict, her emotions, and how she feels. It is exactly how the book is with this character. Can she be nominated for another Oscar? Please? Her acting in the movie has very well made her worthy of another nomination, without a doubt. (Final scene anyone?)
The rest of the cast was undeniably amazing. Woody Harrelson continued to flesh out Haymitch, and Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket was stunning. Her acting is flawless, and the way that Effie was developed this movie was fantastic. It is really nice to see this particular character developed and humanized. I loved it. I was most blown away with Josh Hutcherson. Now, I enjoyed him in the first movie, but I could see where people were coming from with him “not being the right Peeta”. Some would even argue his acting was nothing incredible. In Catching Fire, I feel that he has elevated to a new level of acting. He was convincing and fantastic. The new cast was amazing as well. Characters like Johanna, Finnick, Beetee, Wiress, and Mags were absolutely perfect.
This movie had so much emotion. It will make you cry, or if you are a robot, you will at least be very saddened. Beyond that, the movie will enrage you. During the movie you will want to stand out of your seat and lead a revolution against the Capitol! In fact, I almost did, but halfway out of my seat I realized that it was just a movie, and people would probably judge me if I charged at the screen. The fact that a movie can instill such emotion into its viewers is a clear sign that it was done right. On a lighter note, besides anger and sadness, the movie also does a great job of making you laugh.
I really don’t’ know what else to say except that this movie was flawless, in my opinion. You will walk out of the theater in such a state of awe and wonder. I went with one of my good buddies, who has not read the books, and he was astounded. He was blown away because, let me tell you this, the movie ends just as the book did. It is agonizing, but in a good way. It will keep you invested in the franchise. I’m glad that Mockingjay: Part 1 is slated to come out next year.
Bottom line: GO SEE THIS MOVIE IN THE THEATERS. It is meant to be seen on the big screen, and it is one experience you don’t want to miss out on. Your eyes will be glued to the screen the entire time, fixated by the scenes and raw emotions that the film effortlessly achieves. This, my friends, is a franchise that is catching fire (see what I did there?), building momentum that will lead to a very epic finale. Mockingjay was my favorite book in the series so I cannot wait to see how well Francis Lawrence does with directing the last two movies. What did you think? Sound off below!
This movie has earned 10 out of 10 Victor Tributes!
May the odds be ever in your favor! *Insert Mockingjay whistle here*
And…that’s a wrap!!!