Posted by Cassandra T. in Movie Reviews, The Hunger Games on November 24, 2013
As a huge Hunger Games fan who had very high expectations of the movies, I only have one thing to say about Catching Fire after watching it last night: They nailed it. Absolutely nailed it. Catching Fire is everything I thought it would be and more. Not only did they do an excellent movie adaptation, all the emotions I felt while reading the book were brought to life on the movie screen. Yes, it was that amazing. Catching Fire was a total emotional rollercoaster and I loved every single minute of it.
Here’s a look at my top 5 emotional scenes in Catching Fire, in chronological order:
1) Katniss’ Victory Tour speech in District 11
When Katniss addresses District 11 about their tributes, Thresh and Rue and speaks directly to Rue’s family, the loss of Rue in the first instalment is felt all over again. It only gets more emotional as an old man whistles Rue’s tune and holds his hand up in the three-fingered salute, followed by the rest of the district. The climax came when the Peacekeepers forcibly grabbed and shot him and Katniss is desperately trying to get to him – a real tearjerker.
2) The reaping for the 75th Hunger Games
Effie announces that as part of the Quarter Quell, the tributes for the 75th Hunger Games will be reaped from existing victors. It is a solemn mood and tears well up as the three Victors stand on stage for the reaping. Even usually sprightly Effie is sympathetic. While Katniss is the only female victor available, Haymitch and Peeta have a 50/50 chance. The emotional rollercoaster hits as Haymitch’s name is called and Peeta immediately volunteers for him. As the people of District 12 silently show their disapproval of the Games, they raise their hands in the three-fingered salute for their victors – a truly touching scene.
3) Effie apologizing to Katniss and Peeta
For Effie, a citizen of the Capitol, the Hunger Games has always been seen as a fun, exciting event. She takes care of District 12 tributes, getting them ready for events, preparing their speeches and insisting that “We’re a team!” But when even she recognizes the cruelty of sending Katniss and Peeta back to the arena and apologizes to them for having to go through the Games again, that show of sympathy left me teary-eyed. Oh, Effie! You’re not so bad after all.
4) Katniss’ Mockingjay dress, and the tributes holding hands
All the tributes are interviewed in a national television show before the start of the show. As each of them try to reach the sympathy of the Capitol citizens in their own way. When Katniss appears, forced to wear her wedding dress by President Snow, the crowd is sympathetic for her wedding that isn’t going to happen. As she twirls and the wedding dress is burned, replaced by a dark, defiant Mockingjay dress, it is a loud and clear “Screw you!” to the Capitol. All the tributes then link hands and hold them high in the air, as a clear sign of their disapproval at having to enter the arena again. This emotion-filled scene will make you hate the Capitol even more for their cruelty.
5) Cinna’s beating before the start of the Games
Cinna and Katniss spend some time together just before the start of the Games. Cinna tells Katniss, “Remember I’m still betting on you, girl on fire.” As Katniss enters the glass cylinder that will bring her to the arena, Cinna is suddenly attacked, beaten unconscious and dragged away, As Katniss screams Cinna’s name and bangs against the glass cylinder, unable to go to his rescue, it is an instant tear-jerker. She arrives at the arena devastated and wild-eyed, and her emotions strike deep into the heart. Cinna, who has quietly yet defiantly shown his disapproval of the Games via Katniss’ costumes, has been punished for it.
Those are my top 5 emotional scenes for Catching Fire, although there were plenty more. A special mention goes to the part where Mags kisses Finnick and walks into the fog, knowing she will die. I was going, “No Mags, nooooooooo!”
One more scene that hit me really hard was the private training session with the Gamemakers, where Peeta painted the last scene of Rue, lying down among a bed of flowers. Katniss, inspired by his tribute, uses some rope to hang a dummy, with the words “Seneca Crane” on it. That was one of the most impactful scenes in the book, and the movie translated it well, though I felt that they could have given a few more seconds to let the full impact sink in.
I am planning on watching Catching Fire again! If you haven’t watched it yet, what are you waiting for? Go get your tickets now!