Today the family got out and finally saw Catching Fire. I am the only one in the family that has read the book, so it was all new for the rest of them.
I highly recommend reading this series,as it is so well written. The character of Katniss is just one of the greatest characters I have ever seen. Unlike so many other characters, she does not just blow off the traumatic events and move on. Her deep scars over killing and going through so much really gives such a depth to her that you rarely see.
First off, just like The Hunger Games, they did an incredible adaptation of Catching Fire. It caught all the most important aspects of the novel and did a great job in bringing it to life. While I could think of a few a aspects of the book that I would have like to see that got cut, I understood why they were not present and felt they told what was needed to get the story across. Aspect like President Snow's breath smelling of blood are understandably unable to be transferred from the book to the film, yet they worked so well in the book.
Big warning, if you are prone to getting caught up in emotional movies, Catching Fire can easily bring you to tears. Early on you are given some really strong emotional scenes that help set up the greater story.
I could go into the great costuming and make-up and sets design and casting and so on, but I'll just say it all came together so perfectly, giving a truly stunning feel to this world. Katniss' wedding dress is beautiful both before and after it flames up. Donald Sutherland is so convincing as the manipulative President Snow. There are just so many great aspects to this film.
One could also spend a lot of time looking at the political aspects of the film. It is perfectly current with obvious statements about wealth inequality and a government using fear to control the people. A simple line about how the wealthy at the capital make themselves sick so they can eat more while people are starving out in the districts very much fits with the 1% of today.
It is not a pleasant movie at any level. It is harsh, emotional and intense at times. Some of the 75th Hunger Games scenes got to my youngest son. He needed to hold his mothers hand for reassurance.
The ending is a surprise blast that no one sees coming, as it leads right into Mocking Jay (The 3rd book which is to be split into two movies). Talking with my family afterwards they could put it all together and see how all the pieces fell into place. They all agreed that it was really well done.
My oldest boy loved the film and has been talking about it all afternoon. I'm trying to get him to read the books.
I highly recommend both the books and films for this franchise, as they are strong stories that really hit hard and get you thinking.