Monday, October 27, 2014

Movie Review #41 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I think the Hunger Games series is a pretty solid Netflix movie series: I'm good with watching it online, but I wouldn't go see them in theaters. So, yeah, I watched Catching Fire today on Netflix. I was a bit surprised to see it had a runtime of over 2 hours but, then again, any movie that's adapting an entire novel should probably run a bit longer, otherwise it may feel rushed. Books are dense.

Anyway, short review: although it seems a bit ham-fisted with its overtones, the movie made me think about few things, proving itself to be a bit deeper than it would seem at first glance. As far as action movies based on young adult novels go, I'd put it on par with some of the better Harry Potter films.


After causing an upset by winning the Hunger Games with two survivors instead of one, Katniss has inadvertently become a beacon of hope for the revolutionaries in the various districts. She even has sympathy from the people of the Capitol. President Snow threatens to kill her and her family if she can't mollify the people, and when Katniss fails to do so, he concocts a plan to have her die without sparking an active rebellion.


What would you do if you were in a tyrannical society? Would you protest if it meant your life? The lives of those you care about?

This isn't even a hypothetical situation. There are people today living in places where they can't question the government for fear of repercussions, including violent repercussions. In reality, there are worse situations than the one Katniss finds herself in.

Judging from the vitriol being spouted by the radio hosts and such in the south, you'd think the Obama administration was a tyrannical dictatorship. But the thought is absurd. Would these people be standing up and protesting if this were? I have my doubts.

After watching Catching Fire, I found myself thinking about what I would do. I've protested before, in a sense, but the worst I've ever had to lose was my job. I've risked suspension and detention at school, as well, for the sake of protest. But would I risk prison out of protest? Would I risk my life? The lives of my family? I can see myself saying yes, maybe, to prison or even my own life depending on my dedication to a cause, but risking my family may be farther than I could go.

As it is, Katniss is entirely reluctant. She has no thoughts of rebellion and rejects the idea that she's a symbol of hope. She's just trying to survive, and she doesn't want to risk anything. She wants things to return to normal.

Katniss is a pretty cool heroine. She suffers from standard young-adult novel broodiness, but she has reason to brood. In fact, she's actually pretty well developed in general: her skill with a bow makes sense given her history and lack of other skills, and all of her actions jive with what we understand about her character.

The other characters work pretty well, too, and the writing is pretty solid. I figured from the beginning that Philip Seymour Hoffman's character was a good guy from the moment he appeared and, voila, it was so. It was interesting to see how it all played out, though.

The movie doesn't pull any punches about how difficult revolution can be. It's a violent enterprise, and people die. It will be interesting to see how the rest of it plays out.

Now if only I can stop misspelling "Hunger" as "Hugner." Probably half the time it took to write this post was spent going back and correcting my spelling of that specific word.

No comments:

Post a Comment