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Very happy with the film adaptation

November 27, 2013 - Pam Rodgers

In case you haven’t heard, a little movie called “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” was released nationwide last Friday. It did pretty well, if breaking the November opening weekend record means anything to you.

I was among the masses who went to see the film. I have read all three books — more than once actually. “Catching Fire” is my favorite book of the series so I have been eagerly anticipating its premiere.

The second film did not disappoint. It was even better than the first “Hunger Games” movie. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the first film. Thankfully, the quality definitely continued and got even better in the sequel.

“Catching Fire” actually followed the book more closely than the first movie, in my opinion. As with any book-adapted film, things from the book have to be cut and adjusted, but I thought the film still captured the key themes of the book. Most of the really important scenes were left in, although some were changed slightly to fit the movie. In fact, I could not really come up with a good example of one that was skipped. I have a few nitpicks but you would have to be familiar with the story to understand them.

The book introduces several new characters that are important not only in “Catching Fire” but also in the third book, “Mockingjay.” I felt the producers did a great job with casting, especially Jena Malone as Johanna Mason and Sam Claflin as Finnick Odair.

The best performance in the movie is by far Jennifer Lawrence. She does a fantastic job as Katniss. The whole movie rides on how well she portrays the main character. It was everything I imagined and more.

Now that the second film is out, I can't help but look ahead to the next installment. “Mockingjay” will be the most challenging to make into a film, at least that’s how I see it. The book is quite a bit different from its two predecessors. The story is much darker. But what rebellion story doesn’t have it’s dark moments? And Suzanne Collins put in as many as she could.

I think making it into two films is a decent idea. It seems to be the accepted way to do things right now. I guess it just mean more “Hunger Games” to enjoy. The books are limited because they are told only from Katniss’s point of view. “Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” did a good job mixing in scenes that were not in the book but matched up with the events that were beyond Katniss’s perspective.

I see a lot of potential for more of this in “Mockingjay.” There are definitely some gaps to fill with other characters. It’s hard to describe without giving anything away. I guess the best way to say it is a lot of things happen to Katniss, which causes her to “miss” certain events. It would be interesting to see these happen rather than hearing about them after the fact when Katniss finally learns about it.

But we have to wait a year to see what they come up with for us in “Mockingjay: Part 1.” Right now I can just reflect on what I liked about “Catching Fire.” I may have to go once more just to be sure I’m remembering everything correctly. ;)



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