Catching Fire leaves fans hungry for more


    A year was much too long to wait between the premier of Hunger Games until round two – Catching Fire – hit the theaters. It didn’t matter that most true fans have read the entire trilogy; seeing it on the big screen is a whole different experience.

    Katniss first senses the growing rebellion during the victory tour she and fellow victor Peeta Mellark take through the districts; distressed by the violence she sees and which President Snow blames on Katniss, she strives to play down the rebellion and herself as a symbol, all to no avail. Snow and the new gamemaker decide to hold a very special Quarter Quell in honor of the 75th anniversary of the games, “inviting” former victors to return to the ring for a new challenge.

    Twenty-four victors – people who survived their own games and deal with their own demons because of it – are forced to head back into the arena. Katniss, being the only female victor from her district, has no hope of escaping another round. What she doesn’t know is that many of the other returning victors have bound together to keep her, as the new symbol of revolution for all of Panem, alive and well.

    The game itself is intense – different life-threatening events take place in different areas of the arena every hour on the hour. You would think the more entertaining part would be the games themselves, but instead it’s the slower, more character-driven part of the film that holds the most interest. Events feel a little rushed at times, but the character development and the relationships they develop with one another – even when those relationships are short lived, drive the story. Catching Fire is more substantial than the first film, because it delves deeper into themes such as loyalty, love, honor, sacrifice and freedom.

    The end of the movie, which sees Katniss alive and in the hands of the rebels, who want her to take over the lead, is intense; Katniss learns that Peeta is in the hands of the capitol, apparently one more loved one that she has lost over the past couple of years. Convincingly realistic and scary – while the games themselves seem a little too crazy to believe they could ever happen, much of the other repression and secrecy is not – Catching Fire leaves fans of the trilogy hungry for more, with a long wait ahead. Mockingjay, the third book in the trilogy, will be broken into two separate full-length movies, with the first part released in November of 2014 and the second released in November 2015.