Well, I finally did it! Last weekend I finally went to see Catching Fire! I was away when it came out and then there was Thanksgiving and all. Everyone I was going to go see it with had seen it already by that point but they all assured me that they would be happy to go see it for a second (or third) time in theaters.
So last Sunday after church a friend and I were trying to figure out what to do for the rest of the day before watching Downton Abbey that night (!) and we decided on Catching Fire.
It was rainy and gross outside so it wasn’t like we were missing out on anything else we could have done really, and watching the movie gave us a chance to dry off. And for me it was a chance to finally catch up with The Hunger Games franchise. Plus we ended up using our free movie passes we got after the projector for The Hobbit broke at the midnight premiere, so we didn’t have to pay for the movie itself.
I was determined to reread Catching Fire before watching the movie, which also added to my delay in seeing it. I had first read it two years ago, but it took me about a day and a half to read it. Since it took me such a short time, I don’t think I remembered many of the smaller details of the book so it was nice to go back to it again before watching the movie.
I am one of those people who will point out inaccuracies in a movie if it is based on a book to anyone who will listen (you have been warned). This is also true about anything that is filmed in New York. But I was really pleasantly surprised at how accurate it was to the book.
So many movies that are based on book series cut things for time or try and add their own spin on the plot or characters. I love both the Harry Potter books and the movies but I have come to view them as two separate entities because in a way, they are. And I don’t really like talking about the movie version of Half-Blood Prince since they slimmed it down so much. So while I love movie franchises based on books, I am also a little hesitant around them and I try not to rant about inaccuracies too much.
But with Catching Fire it was different. Yes, there were a few things that were slimmed down (I would have liked to see the scene with Plutach Heavensee’s watch at the ball while he dances with Katniss) and they did add a few small things here and there but I was surprised at how accurate it was. Many of the actor’s lines even came straight from the dialogue in the book and the scenery was really accurate as well.
The three Hunger Games books are so visually written that they really lend themselves well to a movie franchise, especially the arena for the Quarter Quell. I heard so many people say the way it was portrayed in the movie was exactly how they saw it because that’s exactly how it is described in the books. And the ridiculous outfits and parties at the Capitol lend themselves well to the big screen as well.
But I also think that the plot of Catching Fire translates well into a movie as well, even more than The Hunger Games. In The Hunger Games, Katniss is alone most of the time, and a lot of the narrative is internal dialogue, which can be a challenge to translate into a movie. But in Catching Fire she finds herself in a completely different situation.
During the games she is surrounded by people the whole time, which adds more conflict, action, and dialogue to the movie, not to mention what’s happening outside the Games themselves with all the rebellions spreading around Panem. All in all it was a much faster paced movie with more intrigue and action than its predecessor. I really like the first Hunger Games movie, but I this one is definitely my favorite so far.
Also, I love Jennifer Lawrence, and watching Catching Fire has gotten me excited about her again. It blows my mind that she is my age and has a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and is nominated for another Golden Globe this year. And she’s such a real, down to earth person off the screen. She really isn’t afraid to be herself in front of the press and I just find that really refreshing. Not to mention that she’s a great actress on screen as well. She has great facial expressions, and Catching really shows that well throughout the movie (see the following gifs).
Anyway, I can see why so many people I talked to were willing to go see it again in theaters. And the DVD comes out in March! 😀