In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel like I have to open with two facts.
I saw the Hunger Games and Catching Fire in a special double feature that it seems a number of cinemas across the country offered. Having been particularly indifferent about the first, I had mediocre expectations for the second. These expectations were blown out of the water.
The story beautifully adapted everything I remembered about the book – what little there was that I did remember – and expertly displayed it in a cinematic form.
Jennifer Lawrence’s performance was mostly fantastic. She has some moments where I felt like her character was a little bit more plastic than she could have been. Aside from these moments, the emotion her character evokes are incredibly powerful, whether you are crying for her connection to her family, the losses she has faced and her fear for the future, or if you are hopeful for her present.
The Gale-Katniss-Peeta love triangle was one of the most difficult and upsetting portions of the book for me, I enjoyed the diminished focus on this in the cinema. It certainly played a roll in Katniss’ character and decision-making, but she feels less Bella Swan-y than she did in the books.
The make-up department did fabulously in a number of areas, mostly related to costumes in the Capitol. The makeover Lawrence faced for several sequences set in and around the Capitol was stunning – for a second, I barely recognized her.
All-in-all, the film was enjoyable – on Facebook I posted that this is the best movie I have seen recently (others being Thor 2 and Ender’s Game).