The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

PLOT: Katniss finds herself battling anxiety issues a year after winning the 74th Hunger Games. Her nightmares come true, when she is once again targeted by the Capitol, in an attempt to crush an oncoming revolution. Will the odds be in her favour this time around? REVIEW: Catching Fire picks up where The Hunger Games (2012) left off. By winning the previous season, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark ( Josh Hutcherson) are on the radar of the Capitol, for instilling a sense of hope among the oppressed people of Panem.

Fearing, the two may spark a rebellion, the Capitol decides to clip their wings and move them around like chess pieces. A twist in the games by President Snow, throws them back into the bloodthirsty arena. Can they identify ‘who the real enemy is’? If you like ‘grim dystopian sci-fi films’, Catching Fire is a spectacular ‘edge-of-the-seat’ thriller, which is unnerving, emotionally intense and immensely engaging. Unlike most sequels, Francis Lawrence ensures that his installment is not just a remake. While the first focussed on the deadly games, this one’s more about the political moves and strategies.

The film is strangely unsettling and uplifting at the same time. An early scene in the film shows Katniss, sitting alone in a train compartment, staring out the window. She reminds you of a bird trapped in a cage. Its metaphors, unsaid emotions like these that make the film brilliant. ‘There are no victors, just survivors’. The story has an acute relevance to contemporary society, where we are expected to be pawns in our day-to-day lives. Can you put your life on the line for others? Suzanne Collins’ teenage-pawn-turned-rebel protagonist Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) fights her own battles, making her one of the best role models of young adult fiction.

All performances are solid but Jennifer Lawrence is the soul of the film. She makes you want to raise your fingers (District 12 sign) in respect of her incredible understated performance. Spine-chilling cinematography evokes that much required eerie feeling throughout. Dramatic costumes are another highlight. The film makes our hopelessness pit against our own indomitable spirit of survival. Who wins?

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