Wednesday, March 5, 2014

[Movie] The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games second installment from the trilogy, Catching Fire, is a 2013 science fiction adventure film. Based on the novel series, the story revolves around Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), tributes from the 12 District of Panem. They won the 75th annual Hunger Games together, quite a feat considering they both won where the game should allows only one winner.

After their winning, something terrible is brewing throughout Panem. First, they both win where it should be only one survivor. Because the Hunger Game is highly publicizes throughout Panem as entertainment and distraction to the people from the real problems plaguing the country, keeping the audiences and fans happy is one of the main forte of the game.

When Katniss and Peeta go for the 'lovey-dovey', the Capitol residents viewed them as 'star-crossed lover' practically voted for couples to be given the chance to survive together. Throughout the story, their relationship is a bit complicated where Peeta is genuinely fall in love with Katniss even before the tribute reaping. He went as far as intentionally burned his bread from his family bakery, so that he would be scolded by him mum and he got to dispose the burnt bread. And by disposing the bread, he actually gave it to Katniss. For Katniss, she already have a lover back in District 12, but not one know, it just that she doesn't have the heart to kill another person, especially to her own fellow district member. Especially after when she saw what the game have turned Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) into, a raging reclusive alcoholic. Though he become their mentor because he was the previous surviving Victor.

I don't like the way you juggling 2 men at the same time.
However, President Coriolanus Snow of Panem doesn't buy their shitty act. Probably because he was rooting for them to die but they didn't so he lost his bet. Oh please don't tell me he didn't cast his bet. I'm sure he did. Not to mention as the president, he pretty much hold the house. You know what they say, the house NEVER loses. But well, there are limit to how far the house can hustle the audiences. At any rate, he is really pissed off. And he knew that Katniss is actually in love with Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth). And Peeta is more of like her urmm.. her gay friend or her beard, or something.

President Snow feels that the public opinion that changed the format of the game is bad sign. And for a president of an oppressive regime, a bad sign will not be just a retirement but probably includes taking a bullet to the head. So yeah, he is really upset. He view Katniss as a possible new symbol for the coming uprising. Outlying districts are starting to show some balls by openly rioting or starting to make demands. If Katniss could beat the house and win it all, then maybe they all would have the same chance by rebelling.

Due to the previous head Gamemaker, Seneca Crane, failed to get Katniss and Peeta to fight each other using the poisonous berries for some perverted dramatic finale, Seneca Crane 'decided to quit breathing'. He is replaced by someone else, Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Using his predecessor's ending as example, President Snow wants him to find a way to kills those 2 victors from the 75th Hunger Game, who started to become an icon of defiance for the people, before everything escalated into something even worse.

And Plutarch have just the thing. Because Katniss and Peeta are now becomes part of the Victors from the Hunger Game, technically they are untouchable as long as they didn't involve in anything against the law. And they are also exempted from the reaping of tributes for the next Hunger Game. However, other than the annual Hunger Game, it turns out they also have the Quarter Quell, which is hosted on every 25 years to ensure that the stock of Victors remain best of the best.. or something. Well, technically so it wouldn't be too many of the Victor. Having too many Victors could lead them banding together, and that is a bad idea.

So yes, after the 75th Hunger Game, its only right to host the 3rd Quarter Quell. Its not actually well accepted, since when you really did your best to survive one Hunger Game, you pretty much doesn't want get into that again, ever. So the Victors are not happy when they are being reaped again. The whole thing that is televised in the Capitol turns into a huge pissing contest, where each Victors tried to come up with the saddest story they can come up with in order to stop the game from proceeding by swaying the public opinion. And by public, I mean the Capitol residents.

But they failed, even after Peeta dropped the baby bomb. He told the media in live television that Katniss is pregnant with his child, causing the audiences to shout out asking the game should be cancelled. But President Snow didn't budge. The game will proceed as planned. Wow, this guy is really bat-shit mad angry. And also it might have something to do with Katniss and Peeta huge margin of disadvantage, which is, they are new Victors. The other Victors, having won many years before Katniss and Peeta, are bonded by the uneasy friendship between survivors. So Katniss and Peeta would find it hard to secure help, alliance, or even trust from other Victors. While the other Victors would definitely gang-up on them for easy target.

Good advice.
But it turns out that the game was nothing but a big farce. The plots take a twist when Haymitch managed to secure some help from other Victors, and it is not through pleading and groveling. Something big is indeed are happening. Throughout the game, Katniss and Peeta seems to be helped by other Victors, while some other still hell-bent to murder them especially the Carreer Pack alliance that consist of Career Tributes (Tributes that trained all their life to participate and make a career out of the game, usually from the districts that are firm supporter of the Capitol). But still, why are they being helped at all? It is a survival game, and this time only one can survive.

Well, I won't write the ending here because the story didn't end here. The are other 1 more installment to this trilogy which would be divided into 2 films, the Mockingjay part 1 and part 2. That would be where everything would be revealed. That, is when everything would be made clear.

Anyway, I loved this movie because of Woody Harrelson. After I watched the Now You See Me which he starred, I like his character of easy-going and optimistic. If anyone could make the Mockingjay rebellion to be little bit lively, it would be Haymitch Abernathy. Too bad in this movie, Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) was captured by the Capitol right before the start of the Quarter Quell. Story have it that he would be tortured to death. I loved that guy. Other that Haymitch, Cinna is among those who influence Katniss the most. He always provide her with emotional support and keep telling her to be strong, just as he showed his defiance to the Capitol by designing the Mockingjay dress during the live television.


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