Review of The Hunger Games Movie: Catching Fire

11/24/2013 05:57 pm ET | Updated Jan 24, 2014

The first time I ever picked up the hunger games book, I was completely enraptured by its brilliance. Afterwards, I simply could not put the book down, and I went on to finish the trilogy in one weekend. There is something about the hunger games that necessarily draws its reader to a climatic excitement, even before you finish the first chapter of the first book.

Catching Fire explores the brewing revolution that Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, unintentionally began with her act of defiance at the 74th annual hunger games. Although her defiance stemmed from a strong will to survive rather than to start a social and political revolution in the districts, Katniss would soon learn that her intentions were more or less irrelevant. She would become the symbol of a revolution that is far greater than individual survival, one that transcends the bonds of enslavement that the Capitol forces the citizens of the district to face. Somehow, her path to survival is finely and dangerously aligned with revolution and freedom.

It is not hard for the people of Panem to see themselves, their will, their thoughts, their consciousness reflected through Katniss. Her defiance led to both a subconscious and a conscious elevation of a repressed and suppressed will, not simply to survive, but rather, to be free. The movie, at a very thematic level, reflects these larger concepts quite well. The acting was captivating, the writing was absolutely brilliant and, the directing and pace of the movie was phenomenal.

What I enjoyed most about the movie was how the movie was able to conceptualize most of the themes that the book explores without completely sensationalizing the film. Jennifer Lawrence is arguably, one of the most brilliant actresses of our generation. There is something about the way that she acts that reflects factions of a variety of persons in one character, and that allows the audience to recognize themselves in her, no matter the part she plays in a movie. The reason why that is so important for the movie catching fire, is that Katniss was able to start a revolution because the citizens of the districts saw a piece of themselves reflected through her, both in her fiery and her fragilities. Jennifer Lawrence was able to through Katniss, embody a degree of intersectionality between vulnerability, unfounded courage, survival, sacrifice, and hope.

Catching Fire, I would argue, is a realization of a Marxist ideology within a dystopic reality. The proletariat (citizens of the districts) become socially, politically, and economically aware of their enslavement by the bourgeoisie (citizens of the capitol). This self-consciousness forces the proletariat to start a revolution to gain political control of the state. Within this framework, Katniss can be viewed as the link between self-consciousness and a lack thereof. Katniss is able to personify a possible transition to self-consciousness and social awareness, by her simple act of defiance.

I have alluded a bit to the general storyline but I am very wary to give away any specific spoilers because I want everyone to be able to fully enjoy the movie, through trepidation and anticipation. But I would say this though, the intensity of the last scene of the film is definitely one to watch out for. Jennifer Lawrence was able to, in the spam of a couple minutes embody denial, grief, true sadness, anger, a willingness to come to a full realization of her symbolic role as the mocking jay, and all of that subsequently makes you hopeful for what is to come. Thrilling, absolutely thrilling. Happy Hunger Games And May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favour.