Film Review: Catching Fire

When a film adaptation of a book is done, not just adequately but really well, it is something quite special. It adds a whole other layer, not just to the book, but to the entire series.

Everyone involved in bringing the second in Suzanne Collin's trilogy to life, cast and crew - have done a spectacular job. The cast from the first film, Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Liam Hemsworth, Lenny Kravitz and Elizabeth Banks, all return for the second, an essential element whenever a sequel is involved.

New characters are here, portrayed by Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone and Sam Claflin. Needless to say, all give their characters life and despite their varied intentions, interesting to the audience.
Ms Lawrence's character, Katniss Everdeen, is a seriously well adapted character. Ms Lawrence brings her to life completely, her many strengths and her weaknesses, since considering the horrors that Katniss witnesses in the first film, now include nightmares, both waking and when asleep.

I haven't read any of the books, but in making an educated guess, not all of the scenes, lines, or maybe a minor character or two did not make it into the final cut.

Usually, this causes major uproar from the fans and makes for a half baked film, with some characters or plot lines added in later, which is more painful and obvious.

Not so here. The whole two hours and twenty minutes, flow seamlessly. The cohesiveness of the story is truly impressive, thanks must go to the director, Francis Lawrence, the screenwriters, Simon Beaufoy (responsible for Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours) and Michael Arndt, who wrote the screenplay for Little Miss Sunshine. And of course the editorial team.

Not only this, but this story itself is not exactly a bundle of laughs, but the mood is not always dark, thanks to Mr Tucci's character, Caesar Flickerman.

James Newton Howard returns to do the score, and he is set to compose the score for the next two films as well. It is really quite something, and makes the film, already superb, a force to be reckoned with.
Just like the main character.

Comments

  1. This first quote comes from another film with the same level of cohesiveness:
    “Arthur: George has had his revenge on Mr. Denton- hot coffee in the lap.”
    And the second comes from another intense film that uses moments of humour to lighten the general tone:
    “Ruby: They call this war a cloud over the land. But they made the weather and then they stand in the rain and say 'Shit, it's raining!'”

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