No matter how good a screen adaptation or a how brilliant the director, it is the actors who have to deliver. ‘Catching Fire’ is one such example. Jennifer lawrence (as Katniss), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), hold sway on the audience. It’s amazing to watch how little and how much they do, to bring their characters to life.
Catching Fire, the second installment in the trilogy, is more of a battle between the President and Katniss, against the backdrop of the rebellion gathering strength and Katniss emerging as a symbol for the people in subjugation. Katniss is once gain hurled into the arena, to fight it out with winners of the previous editions of Hunger Games. The movie works on all levels and sets up nicely for the third part, the finale (?).
‘Hunger games’ as a book is an interesting projection of present on to future, thus making it real enough for a wide range of readers’ connect. It’s bit of an oxymoron to call a science fiction book contemporary and real, but books like ‘Hunger Games’ achieve this rare feat. The trilogy also manages to give a higher purpose to the 12-18 year olds (that’s the age required to participate in the games and also the target audience) thus making their violence ‘holy’ enough for the readers to grasp the larger themes.
Violence is visceral and liberation ethereal. It is their combination and the measure of them, that decide if the film would emerge as an ‘Ong-Bak’ or The Gladiator’.
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