Potential Spoiler Alert!
Read at your own risk!
For someone who hasn’t read the books since I passed them off as a teen fad, the Catching Fire film really alerted to me that something more was going on in Suzanne Collin’s dystopia than just a potential knock off of Takami’s Battle Royale. Even though I watched its predecessor from the comfort of home, I was impressed by how dark the overtones of the first Hunger Games film were, but not enough to jump into the text itself.
But the sequel changed all that.
From start to finish, the stakes were higher, and thus my personal interest in the story was raised from a passing indifference to a passionate involvement with Katniss’ survival and her process of coping with the aftermath of the brutality she experienced in the first film. This movie openly concerns itself with the minutiae of politics – how the system will use its force in every way conceivable to discredit the effectiveness of its enemies. In a world that reminds one of the oppressiveness of a Huxley universe, in which the ways of thinking are so pervasive that their own faults go unquestioned, I as a viewer want to see this world come apart, but a struggle we face with Katniss in the film is, “Is it worth taking it apart?” The price for the destruction of that world undoubtedly demands blood.
So my verdict: go see this film before it runs out of the theaters. I am personally all for being so wrapped up in a film visually that it consumes your reality temporarily, so do yourself a favor and let Katniss’ PTSD moments drown you in a glorious million (hyberbolic estimation) inches of silver screen. You will cry with her at her lowest moment, and at her ascent, yell like a five year old girl ecstatic with joy.
— Rachel Ford