Movies/Books: Catching Fire

I read The Hunger Games series around 2 years ago through a friend’s recommendation. I fell in love with the trilogy and needless to say, was super hyped to see the book play out on the big movie screen. The first movie disappointed me with its crappy CG fire and absence of some of the real, important stuff. I felt that the producers/directors just glossed it over too much. This is probably because they wanted to appeal to a larger audience (younger) so they took out some of the more gory or dark parts of the book. Unfortunately for me, that decreased the impact and overall depth of the movie. It was still entertaining.

Catching Fire is my favorite book out of the three. I think it is because it is in the smack dab middle where all the drama and excitement happens. I thought the movie was much better than the first. The fire looked better (kind of). It followed the book pretty well (I’m not really sure this time… it’s been awhile since I’ve read the book). But I really liked how Katniss was portrayed in the second movie.

I like Katniss. I think she is cool because she has great fighting and archery skills and she is not a one-dimensional character. She values her family, friends, and community. She has that kind of cold personality mixed in with a spice of sarcasm, all conjured up together with a realistic mindset. And she is played by Jennifer Lawrence, who is hilarious. But the part I like most about her is that she seems very real.

I’ve had enough of those characters whose hearts are made of gold… the type of characters who have all these horrible things done to them by other characters, and for some reason they are still able to win them over with never ending kindness and forgiveness. These are the heroines who are hopelessly pure, courageous, and untainted by whatever or whoever crosses paths with them. These are the heroines who are not real.

There is nobody like that in the real world. People get angry, jealous, bitter, seek revenge, and harbor hatred. They get scared and run away. They help others because others can help them, not simply because they are nice.

Katniss embodies the mind of a normal girl her age. Her reactions and her thoughts reflect a real point of view or course of action that the audience or the reader can actually relate to. She is not perfect. When she asked Gale to run away with her, she wanted to choose what was easy instead of what is right. She became a coward under the pressure of the President, feared death, and wanted to escape. She exploited Peeta’s love for her to survive in the games. She doesn’t want to be the Mockingjay, a symbol of resistance. She doesn’t want to revolutionize society or become the hope instilled in the people. She doesn’t want to protect or save the country, she just wants to protect and save the people important to her. Katniss is a strong, manipulative, selfish, and cowardly heroine. Her heart is not made of gold. It is not made of steel either. It is just a normal, beating heart.

I don’t remember too vividly via the book, but I think the movie did a great job in capturing Katniss’s desperation to live, but more importantly her desperation for Peeta to live. In contrast to her character, Peeta is like that character with a heart of gold. I don’t know if it is because he is in love with her (This aspect makes me doubt because they are both 18 or so… what is love? But I guess my fangirl mode overpowers this thought) and this whole survival game accentuates his feelings for her, but Peeta is too kind. He is too forgiving, nice, and all those wonderful fluffy things that people want to see in the main character because he embodies all the good qualities a person should have. Even though Peeta is basically useless from the get go (one minute in he almost drowns, gets hit by a barrier and dies for a moment, doesn’t even notice crazy monkeys, etc.) , I feel it inside my heart too that I want Peeta to live. Katniss probably feels this 100 times more than me. He is much more beautiful on the inside than she is, and thus he seemingly “deserves” to live more than her. However, Peeta cannot play the role of the mockingjay. He is too pure for such a position in a time of rebellion, bloodshed, and war.

I can’t wait for the 3rd movie. Maybe I should reread the series again to refresh my memory.

Sincerely,

Loewe

P.S. I’ve liked Josh Hutcherson ever since I saw him in the film adaptation of The Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. #TeamPeeta

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To Loewe:

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