Synopsis:Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.
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I enjoyed the first film and this film picks up right where the first film left off which was a good start for any sequel. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire deals with the aftermath of the rebellious win by Katniss and Peeta of the last film’s Hunger Games. In this sequel, the importance of the subject matter is reversed. The main focus of the plot is strictly political, regarding the impact of the main characters’ win and their relationship. The impact is shown through the rebellion of the citizens of various districts as Katniss and Peeta make appearances to maintain the facade that is their relationship.
While there were many struggles that the characters faced, I found them all to be apparent and easily expected as a result of the previous film. Moments in other districts are interesting but brief. These brief moments give a glimpse into the political world, conveying it as a malevolent dictatorship rather than any sort of democracy. I was disappointed that the states of other districts were not explored further. Much of the political outcomes were conveyed through the angst of Katniss and her struggle of living a lie. Putting the weight of political outcomes solely on one character could have created a very interesting dynamic in character development, but leaving out an adequate amount mass reactions caused the film to drag at times.
In between the moments that dragged there were some elements that made a good film. The scenery easily told the mood of the surrounding characters through an array of colors or lack there of. The poor and defeated citizens of each district were surrounded by dreary grays engulfing the worn down structures that seemed to mimic the worn down people. On the opposite end were the bright and extravagant backgrounds filled with an array of colors that represented the over-indulgent, high class members of society. The buildings within the city were over the top, much like its citizens and their flamboyant choice of attire. The setting played a big part in the film by matching the changing background with the duality of Katniss and Peeta as they changed their role from district commoners to public celebrities.
Katniss continues to struggle with how she feels about Peeta but this time the film briefly touches upon her feelings for Gale. There is not much progression in either of these relationships and after the continuous stillness related to the love triangle, I didn’t seem to care much about the relationships at all. If the film spent more time on developing other characters and creating a deeper connection to one another, it would have made the relationships more meaningful.
The film followed the same mechanics of the first film which was a model for success with minimal risks. While the model was proven effective with the last film, I found this film to be a bit long-winded at times due to an overall repetitive plot with similar themes. The mixed feelings between the main characters that existed in the first film are still being dealt with in this film, the state of the districts have changed but is only conveyed through brief moments of defiance, and the motions leading up and through the next Hunger Games are motions we are all familiar with from the previous film. The film had a good layout, the scenery was beautiful, and the story was overall good. The true underlying problem with the film was too much reiteration regarding a simple idea rather than story progression.
About Time – 6 out of 10
Pleasing but simple themes are very long-winded…