So, a lot of people have been excited on seeing Catching Fire this weekend, me included. I was a bit delayed on seeing it Sunday, and even more delayed with writing this post until now, so please forgive silly little me! 🙂
To sum it up briefly before I go on the long(ish) post ahead, I was really satisfied with this movie. Not only is a great movie on its own, but I could tell the director was a lot truer to the book in the second movie. Special effects were stupendous, NO CAMERA SHAKING, and there was a good amount of music to keep up the suspense. So, I luckily won’t have to make too long of a list of things that were missing in the movie, or what I wished changed.
So, time to compare!
So, the movie begins with life in district 12. Katniss is out hunting, Gale meets up with her, and after some hunting and talking, and as they walk back into the district, Gale just leans in and kisses her. And she kisses back. Then it’s over, and he says, “I had to at least do that once.”
As Dwight from “The Office” would say…
Because in actuality, in the book, cameras are constantly around Katniss. Gale is pretty self-kept to himself because he’s a bit bitter about the performance in the games, and when Katniss and Gale finally have a little bit of time to themselves, Gale leans in to kiss her. It’s described as a bit forceful, and she’s quite surprised and shocked by it. Once the kiss is over, the famous lines are spoken:
“I love you” -Gale
“I know” -Katniss
Ha! Ouch. So, obviously that didn’t happen in the movie, but I can live with that. So, moving on!
In the movie and book alike, Katniss is visited by President Snow because he isn’t convinced that Katniss was about to eat the berries in the arena out of love; instead he thinks it was an act of rebellion. He warns her that if she doesn’t convince him that she’s truly in love with Peeta and her actions in the arena were out of love and not disobedience, then he’ll kill everyone and everything she loves.
Peeta and Katniss have to put up an act in front of the cameras for the Capitol, when instead they actually don’t speak with one another much. It wasn’t covered in the first movie, but in the first book, Peeta accidentally overhears Katniss telling Haymitch about everything being an act in the arena, and she doesn’t know what to do with Peeta. Obviously he’s hurt from this, knowing it was just an act for the cameras when his love was real. So, they missed describing that in the first film. Sorry movie goers!
Peacekeepers are starting to get into higher patrol in district 12, and rules are stricter. When Gale refuses to obey, he’s sent to be whipped. This scene was extremely powerful on the screen. I knew it was going to happen, but my heart was still hurting when I saw him on that post. Ah…
Katniss stands up first, then comes Haymitch, and then Peeta. Once Gale is brought back to Katniss’ mom’s house and Prim, they try their best to heal him. In the book it better describes how much pain Gale was actually in, but the acting was still done very well in this scene by everyone involved, especially Katniss and Gale.
And just like the book, Katniss refuses to leave Gale’s side.
Obviously their relationship grows quite a bit. But, of course, things go astray.
Because it’s time for the Capitol tour! Everything transpires in the movie like it did in the book, such as the man who gets shot in district 11, and Katniss has to put up a big act and not speak her true thoughts during the whole tour. Peeta proposes to Katniss on TV, but when Katniss goes to the Capitol party, President Snow lets her know that he’s still not convinced that her love is real.
Once back in District 12, it’s announced that the 75th Hunger Games are going to take place. This is when Katniss finds out she’ll be going back into the arena.
At the reaping, it’s very touching…
All the feels in Effie’s face! Which, by the way, I feel as though her character had a lot more of a role in this film. This made me very happy, considering her character is so important in the books.
Time for the parade, and their outfits are more impressive this time around than the first movie, at least I think so. It looks much more real this time around, eh?
Although, I’ll say this now, why in the freaking world isn’t Peeta smiling that much? WHY? In the books, he’s always this cheerful kind of guy who’s so easy to talk with, and whose eyes are always so gentle. One of my favorite quotes: “I look up into those blue eyes that no amount of dramatic makeup can make truly deadly and remember how, just a year ago, I was prepared to kill him.” -Katniss, Ch. 15
Gosh, I love Peeta so much. I mean, I really enjoy Hutcherson, but I still don’t think the movie does Peeta’s character much justice. His unconditional love and sweet, caring presence isn’t as prominent like in the books. Ah, well. I’ll comment more on characters themselves in another post!
Sugar cube scene: of course it’s in there!
Sam Claflin is alright with Finnick, but agh…just agh. I wasn’t too awful happy with this scene. Finnick in the book is so much more of a flirt, and has that unique smile in just the corner of his lip that I fell for *sigh* I felt like this was just another scene in the movie instead of such an impactful one like in the book.
Then it’s for the dress scene, who can forget that? I was really happy about the special effects of the dress turning into the Mockingjay, I think it was much more well done than her dress in the first film. Although I would have liked to see Katniss freak out a bit at first as to what’s going on like she did in the book, and then smile a bit knowing what it truly is. Still an amazing scene, though!
The first part of the movie seems just a tiny bit rushed, but that’s alright. They spent the perfect amount of time in the actual arena, which I was happy with. I felt like the first one didn’t have as much of the arena in it like it should’ve.
To quote the book once Katniss rises up into the arena: “Slowly I raise my eyes and take in the water spreading out in every direction. I can only form one clear thought. This is no place for a girl on fire.” -Katniss, Ch.18
The arena is exactly how I pictured it. Down to every little detail. I was stunned on how much they followed the book!
And here’s another view of the arena…
While in the arena, everything goes in order of progression just like the book. Such as Peeta getting electrified by the force field, what parts of the arena attacks them in what order, etc. I’ll go into bullet points down below, but right now I’m just making the biggest comparisons. Enjoy it! ENJOY IT!
The fog did not disappoint. I was actually quite disturbed the side effects that were created once the fog touched the skin. If on-screen it can disturb me more than I can picture it in my head while reading, then obviously I’m quite impressed.
Although they didn’t experience the big wave themselves, which they weren’t supposed to, I also wasn’t disappointed as to how the wave looked on-screen. Bravo!
The monkeys were also well done. Although I would’ve liked to see the monkeys in a good mood as well like in the book, in order to emphasize that certain areas only attack during their hour. I lived without that small aspect in the movie, though. I was still happy with that monkey scene!
Just a bit confused that, once again, Katniss didn’t worry about her arrow count. In both books she kept count and retrieved her arrows since supply isn’t endless, so I wish they kept that aspect. Just a small thing to fix, I suppose.
Peeta!! NOOOoooooo. I do like his reaction, though. Well done.
Jabberjays were also quite an impact. It actually effected me more watching it and experiencing it on-screen than in the book. I could actually hear Prim screaming, and Gale, and it was just so hurtful. I was pretty tortured, just like Katniss was.
Peeta on the other side of the glass also made me really sad, especially when for a moment the camera let us hear Peeta even if for a moment. He was trying to reassure her that it’s all fake and to calm down, and to stay with him, but obviously she couldn’t hear him.
Here’s the quote to go along with the scene: “Peeta presses his hand against the surface and I put my own up to meet it, as if I can feel him through the wall…I try to make out what he’s saying, but I can’t focus, so I just stare at his face, doing my best to hang on to my sanity.” -Katniss (during the Jabberjays), Ch. 24
Although the acting was superb, a bit of me wishes Katniss did, in fact, actually put her hand up to the glass and stare back at Peeta. It’s so, sadly intimate.
The famous beach scene is up next, fellow book lovers. Yet *sigh* wasn’t as long as I wished. Just like the cave scene in the first movie wasn’t long, either. However, the main point was given that Peeta gave her the locket, told her that she’s still more important and nobody needs Peeta like that back home, and Katniss argues that she does. And they kiss 🙂 But in the book, I think, it was still so much sweeter. I liked how it was described: “The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making me need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.” -Katniss (with Peeta), Ch.24
It really shows how much Katniss is really falling for the guy, and how deep their kiss has become compared to all the other ones. Although it wasn’t portrayed as such on the screen, at least for me, it was still a good scene altogether.
Yay for the locket 🙂
Everything else that follows is exactly like the book. Exactly like it. Down to the lightning tree, what happens in between those events, and how Katniss is brought out of the arena. The ending, as well, is exactly like the ending of the book.
In fact, the ending was perfect.
After Gale tells her about district 12, the film ends on her expression. First Katniss is sad, which she should be, but then the anger starts to rise up. And this fire, this pure hatred, comes up in her eyes.
Then the screen fades black.
Amazing film. So, so dang amazing.
Now, here’s the bullet points I promised. First in line, I want to cover the smaller things that I was happy were put into the film:
- The scene with Johanna in the elevator. Katniss’ expression is priceless.
- Buttercup, the cat, is yellow/orange! Yay!
- The way Mags walks into the fog. Sad, but so beautiful.
- When President Snow drinks from some water, there’s some blood seeping back into it from his mouth. I’m glad they’re adding that plot point.
- Finnick’s trident is well crafted.
- Peeta paints the real scene of Rue’s death on the training room floor, and Katniss hangs the doll with Seneca Crane’s name on it. You go, Glen Coco!
- Peeta gives Katniss the pearl. If they left this out there would’ve been a riot.
- Peeta comforts a changling when they’re dying, just like he did in the book. Very touching.
- All of the tributes hold each other’s hands after the interview, and they try to cut the cameras off before it’s aired. It still is.
- The ships were in this movie! They came to pick up the dead tributes like in the book, when they didn’t do that in the first film.
- When Katniss has a nightmare and wants Peeta to sleep with her, and asks for him to stay with her, in which he replies, “Always.” I hope people realize how important that becomes later.
Things I wished were in the movie, but because of time restraint I understand why they weren’t there. But still…
- Katniss didn’t learn about how Haymitch won his Games.
- Katniss never has to try and climb over an electrified fence after she’s done hunting. It was an interesting scene.
- When Katniss offers to get married to Peeta and he just agrees and walks away, the movie didn’t add Haymitch saying, “Peeta wanted to propose in his own way, and truly. Not as an act.” Something along those lines. Made me sad that wasn’t in there.
- Peeta’s paintings aren’t in the film. I liked how he painted scenes from the arena in a way to settle his PTSD.
- Katniss has perfect hearing in the movie, when in the book one of her ears were impacted from the explosion. She uses this lack of hearing as an excuse in correctly spotting force fields. Apparently in the movie it’s no issue that she can spot these force fields.
- Longer beach scene. I wanted it to be longer!
- Katniss and Finnick never cover their skin in that green goop to help heal their wounds, and then scare Peeta with it when he was trying to sleep. This is the point that Katniss really starts to trust Finnick, and it wasn’t in the movie. Sad panda 😦
- Katniss doesn’t have to keep track of her arrow count in the movie.
- Peeta should be smiling more, gosh dang it!!
- Wasn’t Beetee supposed to be old?
So, overall I really enjoyed the movie and how much it stuck to the plot of the book. Of course I didn’t cover every single thing they did in the movie because that’d just spoil all the fun for everyone else, but to fellow book lovers, trust me when I say that this adaptation was extremely well done. You will NOT be disappointed whatsoever.
How did you like the movie? Comment below!
May the odds be ever in your favor!
-S. K. Robitaille
P.s. I’m so hung up on Peeta not smiling as much on-screen like he did in the books irks me, so here’s a random picture to enjoy 🙂