Movie: Catching Fire

"Catching Fire"

Katniss Everdeen has returned home safely after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts. Along the way, Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell), a competition that could change Panem forever.

Terrific. Fantastic. Magnifi..que!

I have no words to describe how elated I am with the adaptation of Suzanne Collin’s Catching Fire. But that won’t stop me from trying to put my thoughts on paper…even if it’s cyber. (Old figures of speech don’t all work anymore, do they?) Anyhow.

Catching Fire does right a lot of the things that the first film did wrong. Number one, the handheld camera work are kept to a minimum. Number two, the action happens in front of us most of the time and not off screen. Number three, Jennifer Lawrence is really on fire here. Number four, and most importantly, the adaptation doesn’t just translate the book’s content–it imitates the book’s intent as well.

You would think Hollywood executives would understand this by now: books are not screenplays–they are bibles. If you buy the rights, adapt it properly. Many books-turned-movies fail because they either become too restricted by the source material, or they don’t follow the source material enough. Catching Fire does something that hasn’t been done since Prisoner of Azkaban and the Lord of the Rings

It treats the book as a guide, but only keeps the parts of it that are needed to convey the message that the content wants to make.

In Catching Fire, it’s choice. Choosing to live a good life, or choosing to live a life of good. It’s choosing to stand by a lie that saved lives, or turning that lie into a weapon to stop lives from needing to be saved in the first place.

And the film nails it.

I haven’t been this happy with a film adaptation of a book in years!

This definitely makes me wary about the last two films though. I’m hoping that it would at least be as good as Catching Fire.

One can hope.

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