Spoiler Alert, those who have not seen the movie, be warned, you should not read this article.
“Catching fire”- Much like it’s title, this movie quickly caught the attention of everyone looking for a brilliant cinematic experience. With a line around the corner and being shown in four theatres at our local Cinelux: Scotts Valley Cinema on opening night, this much- awaited sequel to “The Hunger Games” film picks up right where it left off after the 74th Hunger Games. This movie is a must see and as sophomore student Madeline Peterson puts it: “It is simply ravishing!” We follow the relatable characters of the rebellious Katniss Everdeen and the forever-friend zoned Peeta Mellark through their victory tour of the country of Panem. However, we soon learn that the political upheaval is dependent of the actions of the two so-called star crossed lovers when the creepy president threatens their families as a last ditch effort to stop the rebellion brewing. The icy smiles, cold speeches, and marriage proposal of the victory tour is still not enough to convince the rebels that the two victors defied the Capitol out of love instead of spite. President Snow decides to eliminate the victors, who stand as figureheads to the rebellion, by holding the 75th Quarter-Quell) with previous victors as tributes. This shocking new development sends both Katniss and Peeta back to the Capitol to prepare to face the arena yet again with the help of the brilliant stylist, Cinna and comedic relief in the form of the Capitol’s Master of Ceremonies, Caesar Flickerman. These colorful characters help pave the way for tributes to unite against the Capitol, holding hands onstage and bringing the audience to tears. This heart-wrenching movie is summed up perfectly by sophomore student Adonijah Newtree who said, “It was really great! It was better than the first movie because there was a lot more character development.” In an astonishing climax, Peeta dramatically declares, “I would have no regrets if it weren’t for the baby,” Surprising everyone, (including Katniss, the would-be mother). Despite the united front, the tributes once again enter the arena after Katniss is forced to witness a brutal attack on Cinna seconds before the start of the Quarter-Quell. Seeming almost undeterred by the Capitol’s attempt to throw her off her game, Katniss emerges in a tropical arena designed to end the Girl on Fire. Meeting up with allies Finnick (sugar-cube man), Mags, Beetee, Wiress, and Johanna Mason, the two tributes face the horrors of the twelve-part arena designed like a clock.
Which each new hour a new horror descends upon it’s victims in that wedge of the clock. United, the tributes conspire to rescue the oblivious Katniss from the arena by removing the tracker from her arm and destroying the force field keeping them in. The film ends with Katniss waking up in a hovercraft with Haymitch, Plutarch Heavensbee (The Gamemaker that Katniss met in the Capitol), Finnick, and Beetee to learn that the Capitol is holding Peeta and Johanna captive and that they were headed to the ominous District Thirteen, which was previously thought to have been destroyed. The brilliant acting, stunning visual effects, and the on-screen chemistry between the characters makes this movie a brilliant example of how well a movie can do when the director has actually read the book!