And that is the Best Page-To-Screen Adaptation of the year.
Granted, I haven’t seen The Book Thief yet but regardless, the two are on completely different levels and really shouldn’t be compared.
Also, I’m kidding cause Catching Fire should also win every costume/makeup/set award in the history of everything.
I was one of the few that started reading The Hunger Games before it really took off. I was on one of those websites that said like if you liked this series, you’ll love this series. The suggestion came from these books I had read ages ago: Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. It’s a YA dystopian novel, kind of like THG‘s little sister series. Anyway, I decided to take the website up on its recommendation.
The books are brilliant, definitely one of my favorite series. I think they very cleverly take a dark, twisted dystopian view of the future and disguise it in a young adult novel. Which is just what young readers today need: books that entertain and teach. It’s smartly written and I was completely unable to put them down. It also sparked another one of my waves of world cynicism but that’s not totally uncommon considering.
I was thrilled when they started production on the first Hunger Games. It’s definitely the type of book fit for the big screen what with all the contrasting imagery of the poor, gray districts with the fantastically colorful and extravagant Capitol lifestyle. When I read, I love imagining the story in my own mind. Usually, I watch the movie to fill in the holes but stick to my original vision whenever I reread the book. But the first movie captured every detail so impressively, it almost completely wiped out anything I had originally thought.
Catching Fire is no different. If anything, it is even better. The second installment is arguably the best of the trilogy, and I think the movie did a great job of tying together everything the first had started and setting the story up for the nail-biting conclusion.
(Which, as it seems to be tradition now, will be in two parts)
I’m continually blown away by the Capitol. The vision it must take to imagine that world and bring it so alive is nothing short of extraordinary. It would have been so easy to let the world of the Capitol fall into a farcical aspect of condescending silliness. And while of course you laugh at some of the get-ups and make-up, underneath it all you get a real sense of the complete brainwashing of the people as well. And I think that praise goes to the actors and the way they portray their characters. Particularly, Elizabeth Banks’ Effie and Donald Sutherland’s President Snow. The contrast between these two members of the Capitol and the slow reveal of Effie’s character depth was really well done and brings a sense of sad seriousness to the gross glamour of the Capitol.
Another thing that really impressed me was Finnick. And this is goes more into the casting of the character rather than the character himself. Anyone who has read the books knows that his character comes more into play in the third than in the second. It’s difficult to establish Finnick in Catching Fire because he doesn’t figure as prominently as he will in Mockingjay. The character trend in the series is the complete contradiction of what you think the character will be. You want so badly for Katniss to be this badass heroine who takes her circumstances in stride and wins against all odds. But she’s not. She’s the reluctant heroine who suffers and wants no part in the situation she has been forced into, yet she does it anyway. Finnick isn’t your typical rock-star hunk tribute, charming and lovely and superficial. His outward appearance is deliberate and careful and a sliver of who he really is, and we don’t see that until his character really develops in the third book.
Attractive and seductive actors are a dime a dozen. They needed to cast a Finnick in Catching Fire for the role in Mockingjay. Not an easy thing to do. And it might be premature, but I think they nailed it with Sam Claflin.
The movie was fantastic. Visually brilliant, spot-on casting and acting, and probably one of the best screenplay adaptation out of all the page-to-screen movies I’ve seen. Must see. Don’t waste another second.