Saturday, November 9, 2013

Why I'm not that Excited for Catching Fire

 Adam C. Zern opines on his lack of excitement to see The Hunger Games: Catching Fire:

"My wife and I have friends attending The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opening on November 21st, the day before its official opening.  Normally I would be very anxious to see a film of its hype and promotion as soon as I could.  Yet, for Catching Fire, my excitement to see it has remained tepid.  In fact, I was far more anxious to see the original The Hunger Games film adaptation when it was released in 2012.  But why is that?

To begin with, Catching Fire the book has lost some of its shimmer since I read it.  I enjoyed it.  I even liked it more than the original book, but I still felt it was a stepping stone to the book and story that really mattered, which is Mockingjay.  (I felt Mockingjay was the strongest book in the series by the way, but I am definitely in the minority in my opinion).  Catching Fire is the The Empire Strikes Back for The Hungers Games trilogy while lacking some of the more interesting elements of a story like The Empire Strikes Back.  I still feel Suzanne Collins's method of forcing Katniss and Peeta back into the ring was slightly factitious; albeit, I was willing to swallow the contrivance in the book and probably will accept it just fine in the film.  Once Katniss and Peetah entered the dreaded arena, the story's focus changes from global concerns to individual struggles and the story loses some impact at that point.  It was still an enjoyable read, but one in which I wanted the ending to come a little too much instead of enjoying the ride.

Having said all of that, perhaps when I go to see the film I will be pleasantly surprised by its focus on the political machinations that eventually lead to the series' breakneck finale.  The trailers have certainly played up the political and societal impact of Katniss's first participation in the games.  I'm hoping we'll get more of the additional insight into the scheming which Katniss is ignorant of but what made the first film an excellent adaptation.  I have no indication that they will neglect the story-beats that made the first film so enjoyable (and far more tense), but having, in the end, only the book to make a judgment, I can only expect what I've read.  Furthermore, I’m hopeful I’ll be pulled back into the story due to Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as I was in the first film.  She is perhaps the single most important reason The Hungers Games film worked as well as it did.  Hopefully she’ll do it again for Catching Fire and have some additional help as well. 

Will I see Catching Fire in the theater?  Of course.  I am still interested in seeing it, but I'm not nearly as excited as I thought I would be.  My hope is that once I do see it I will be so thrilled with it and the story it tells I'll be more anxious than ever to finally watch The Hunger Games story I care most about—Mockingjay.  Here's hoping."

Other Topics of Interest:
Bedtime Stories with Adam & Sarah: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Reflections: Catching Fire
Reflections: Mockingjay

1 comment:

  1. 'Mockingjay' absolutely is the strongest entry in the series. It's the bravest and most true.