Fanning the flames of success – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Comparisons have been drawn between The Hunger Games trilogy and Battle Royale; both are adapted from novels and both depict a life and death scenario, but I would say that the former is worthy of acknowledgement in its own right, particularly since the 2013 release of the second part of the trilogy – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

There’s something so refreshing about Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of the ‘heroine’ Katniss Everdeen. Despite her young age, (17 according to the books written by Suzanne Collins) she seems wise beyond her years and has the inner strength of an ox. Her challenge this time round however is tougher than the first and Katniss enters The Quarter Quell with the horrors of the previous Hunger Games still fresh in her mind.

The film cruely dangles the Capitol’s manipulated vision of Katniss the warrior in front of the broken inhabitants of the coal mining town of District 12 (Katniss’ home) and Katniss is once again forced to leave her mum and sister behind to a fate no-one knows…

A gripping ride through a MAD world which places the audience at the heart of the action…hold on tight! **** (4 out of 5 stars)

The action seems more gritty and fast-paced this time round, which is welcomed as it gives the film a slightly more adult edge as you accompany Katniss and her ‘lover’ Peeta on a blood sport they’d rather forget. Old friends are lost and new ones are made, but the treacherous game of who to trust forms the backbone of the whole film and threatens to topple Katniss and Peeta in the blink of an eye. The ‘Mockingjay’, however, is a force to be reckoned with and at the close of the film Lawrence leaves you with a hunger for more: what is she going to do next? Who is on her hit list? Will she be triumphant?

I’ve just started reading Mockingjay, the last book  in the trilogy, and I have to say that Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss seems pretty spot on! If the next film can beat the splendour of the second, I will be impressed! I’m also thinking that Katniss Everdeen could be the one to topple her oppressive adversary President Snow and break free from the control he has had over her life. Back in 2007, I wrote a dissertation on strong, female leads such as The Bride (Uma Thurman) in Kill Bill and Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) in Terminator which asked the question: “The Fighting Female: A Woman Beyond Male Control?” At the time, I came to the conclusion that ultimately, the fighting female struggles to break free from the males that ‘made her’, but I believe Katniss could be the one to topple that theory and prove her metal. From what I’ve seen, she’s quite capable of holding her own and her fighting skills and intelligence pit her way above her male counterparts. One thing’s for sure, we’ve all got our eyes on this fiery character – Vive la Revolution!

Further reading:

Battle Royale

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) Miller-Meter-8/10


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