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Dec 09

Hunger Games: Catching Fire Film Review

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I was very excited to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire because I loved the first one so much. However, I was also worried that it would not be as good because it had so much to live up to.

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One of the highlights of The Hunger Games was, of course, Jennifer Lawrence. An epic heroine, the new Ripley. A survivor with a heart, sacrificing herself for her sister. Straight-talking and brave; Katniss might be one of the best female characters in a film ever. She is certainly one of the most inspirational. A role model even for real women.

Whilst watching Hunger Games: Catching Fire one thing struck me: that there may be people watching it thinking our society is not like this at all, but the Hunger Games does reflect our society, and more countries more than others. The gaps between the haves and the have nots, social injustice, oppression; the Hunger Games is more than thrilling entertainment, it is also a statement on the world we live in. An intelligent action film, well written with brilliant acting and something to say.

It is hard to not get caught up in the story, in the characters and their plight. It is hard to not keep going on about Lawrence as Katniss. The audience love her, the people love her: she is the girl whos purity and bravery sparks a revolution. I have to confess that I have not read the books, but I really want to. Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale) are both excellent as the men Katniss is caught between: her real love and her media love. Who will she end up with in the end?

Peeta and Katniss are celebrities but also icons. They empower the people and pay the price. Peeta, Katniss and Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) make an excellent team, bonded together through what can only be described post-traumatic-stress-disorder. Katniss wakes Peeta up by screaming as she wakes up from a nightmare, he comes into her room: ‘It’s okay’, he says, ‘I get them too.’ Even Effie (Elizabeth Banks), that vacuous idiot, can barely take the injustice, finds her conscious and her feelings.

Donald Sutherland is excellent as President Snow and Machiavellian media chief Philip Seymour Hoffman is brilliant and full of depth. I was also pleased with myself as I saw the twist before it happened. The film is relevant, gripping and worthy. In fact the only bad thing I have to say is that it ended far too quickly and I have no idea how I am going to wait an entire year for the next installment.

Five stars.