Any book lover will understand the excitement in seeing what a movie will make of all things you’ve pictured a million times in your head — sometimes film does a wonderful job portraying a certain scene or character, and sometimes it makes a total mess of things. But half the fun is seeing how the on-screen version compares, and the second film in the adaption of The Hunger Games trilogy is no exception. Catching Fire holds a goldmine of exciting moments that any fan of the series will be eagerly awaiting, but here are just five — and be warned, many are spoilers.
1. President Snow
Donald Sutherland knows how to give someone the chills. It’s a talent he’s proven himself capable of in numerous films, including as Mister X in JFK, as a Nazi spy in Eye of the Needle, and as a cruel fascist in 1900. He’s perfect for playing the dangerous and cold President Snow.
Snow’s role in the second book means that Sutherland will hopefully have plenty of screen time in the film and that we’ll get to see more than a few threats and heavy intimidation. Also appearing in the second film is the president’s granddaughter, played by Erika Bierman. If we want to get technical here, Snow’s granddaughter isn’t mentioned until the third book — but let’s not be too nit-picky.
2. Effie and Haymitch
Let’s be real, who doesn’t enjoy these two? They may not be new, but the plot of the second book brings them back in a big way. Effie looks ridiculous at all times with that cotton candy hair and clown makeup. And Haymitch, well, he manages to be simultaneously hilarious, dry, drunk, and touching — the scene in which he wins his own hunger game is certainly one worth looking forward to.
It doesn’t hurt that Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks both did a great job playing their parts in the first movie. Having such well-cast actors for their roles makes for a promising secondary performance, and if all else fails, Effie will undoubtedly be wearing something strange.
3. Katniss burns into a mocking-jay
One of the most memorable parts of the second novel occurs when Katniss spins during her broadcast interview, only to have her dress burn away, leaving behind a jumpsuit modeled after the mocking-jay, symbol of the resistance. A little heavy handed with the drama? Perhaps, but who doesn’t like a rebellious flourish done with style?
This part is made more memorable by the death of her stylist, Cinna, a significant moment moviegoers will certainly look forward to and dread. It will be interesting to see how the writers went about showing that, as his violent beating and arrest could be difficult to show without raising the film’s rating.
4. Other victors
The second book introduces a number of new characters: Beetee, the electricity genius, does a fair bit of fancy thinking on his feet that will be exciting to watch; and Mags and Finnick, the old woman with a cane and young, attractive man, both from District Four.
It will be interesting to see how Stef Dawson does in playing the role of the unstable Annie, a previous champion who went crazy following the beheading of her District Four partner in the games. If the Peeta, Katniss, and Gale triangle isn’t enough romance for you, there’s always the Finnick-Annie pairing.
5. The Hunger Games stadium
Half of what captures the imagination of readers in these books is the idea of dangerous, manmade environments. Catching Fire doesn’t disappoint, and the hunger game in this movie will bring a playing field filled with water, heart-stopping force-fields, blistering mist, and a jungle fraught with monster monkeys.
Then there are the jabberjays, birds that imitate human suffering and that nearly drive Finnick and Katniss crazy, as well as all the craziness that occurs amongst the trees and with the lightening. Finally, there’s the clockwork nature of the stadium’s disasters, another little detail it will be neat to see in the film.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the film is as good as the book, better/worse than the first film, or a departure from the Japanese film Battle Royale – it will be enjoyable just to have our curiosity satisfied, so sit back and see what the filmmakers imagined when they read the words.
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