atreic: (Earth)
posted by [personal profile] atreic at 10:56pm on 24/11/2013
I have lots and lots of Things bouncing around in my head about Catching Fire. I want to write an intelligent, coherant review, but if I try to do that, I'll just fail to do anything. So have as many bullet points as I can think of before I go to bed.

Spoilers, obviously. Only for the film in the body of the text, but more generally in the comments for all things Hunger Games

It's a 12A, for 'moderate violence'. I am probably old fashioned, but the police brutality, Gale's beating, and, err, the entire story being about being forced into a game where everyone is trying to kill each other, for power and entertainment, made me wonder how we assess the 'moderate'

I sobbed. Sobbed and sobbed for about the first third. Once they were in the arena, and it was all Movie Violence, with running and fighting etc, I found it much less traumatic. But the District 12 bits... (OK, life's been full of sad bits this week, so I was looking for something to cathartically cry over) They were heartbreaking.

Especially Prim. Capable Prim, when Gale is hurt, so hard and strong so young, dealing when her mother falls apart again, supporting Katniss. It's easy to think of Prim as the pretty little blonde one, but oh, the sadness and complication of the relationship.

And the tour of the districts. Oh, District 11. I wanted to slap Peeta and Katness, for being so stupid and naive and not even realising the fire they were playing with, but I loved them so much for their generosity and honesty. Rue's family, on the podium, just made me cry.

The relationship between Katniss and Peeta was spot on. The coolness between them and the pain of watching her acting, and then the way that life drives them together over the movie. The bit on the train, when Katness flatly realises that they should get married, was heartbreaking and spot on.

Also, the other bit on the train, where Peeta, who has every right to be completely bitter and broken, and has thrown his heart at Katniss to watch her stomp callously on it because it's not a thing she needs or wants right now, makes time and says 'hey, I know this isn't your fault, you're completely not oblidged to love me. Maybe it'll be easier if we work out how to be friends though?' And (at least to me) it came across as completely sincere, not nice-guy pressury, and oh, in the face of everything, Peeta is so Kind and so Nice.

Funny watching it with L. She commented on things that were, well, technically true, but were not where my mind was at all. Usually to do with fashion. I remember her saying 'they really like Katness's shoulders, don't they?' (it's true, they do). Makes you think about what we teach teenage girls to look out for.

Also interesting when they all get boils from the fog. Katniss gets _much_ more photogenic boils than the boys. Decorative boils down the side of her cheek, rather than full-face horridness.

The second book has always been my least favourite of the books. The first book is fresh and new and fabulous, and the third book is plot-tastic, but the second book always felt a bit like 'this has to be a trilogy, let's have the hunger games again' The second film, on the other hand, I loved even more than the first.

The new Games Maker was perfect. Watching the film having read the books, it was interesting to see M (who hasn't read the books) _didn't_ realise he was secretly saving Katniss until the end. Watching those perfectly crafted conversations with Snow. Funny, the contrast between the rich fat powerful white capital man, masterminding the revolution, and Katness just being swept up in it all.

Tributes! They were so good. I was worried that trying to introduce so many characters in a Movie wouldn't have the space. But oh, Finnick. And Joanna. Total movie!crush on both of them. I expect the internet to overflow with Finnick/Katness now.

Good strong morals. Nice people don't kill people. Nice people look after the elderly, and the mentally ill. It's always felt a bit contrived, how Katniss never really kills anyone - even with Cato she's saving him from the dogs, and she's only violent in self defence. But maybe that is the point, that they never break her to the point where she becomes that person. Some good tricks in the film to show how Awesome with her bow she is without having her turn into Violent killer of People - the bit with the monkeys, and the bit in the training room. The bit where she has her choice to kill Finnick, and Snow is watching her was so well done.

The bit with Snow's granddaughter was excellent. I don't think that's in the books at all, it's an extra for the movie? But it was perfectly in tone. And just makes everything sadder and more realistic. He is obviously Evil, but wanting a peaceful stable world where you and your family are Rich and Powerful is so understandable...

When I first read the book, Katness's defiance by hanging Seneca Crane in effigy sort of didn't work for me, because I had forgotten who Seneca Crane was (I mean, I didn't have an immediate reaction to the name). The movie fixed that, with some good forshadowing just before, and also by making the dummy recognisable by having a very charactoristic beard.

I thought they did a great job (and very much in the spirit of the books) of making Katness seem awesome and strong, and yet having her be realistically broken by what she goes through. When she is hunting with Gale, and the capitol has taken even that away from her, with the flashbacks to the arena, I blubbed some more.

There is, obviously, no good ending to this film. They didn't pull their punches, or try to soften it. Peeta is captured by the capitol. District 12 is destroyed. 2 minutes of animated mockingjay pin, end of movie. It's an awful place to stop. It's the right place to stop.


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