Last weekend, I finally got round to seeing The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s only been a couple of months since I saw the first instalment, so I’m kinda late to the game. The thing with me and this franchise is, like a lot of films, I avoided it because it was targeted at tweens (that makes me think of High School Musical and One Direction), and it was labelled ‘The New Twilight‘. I have many issues with the Twilight series, which I won’t go into now, and I’ve made a point to disassociate myself from any films of that ilk.
o why did I finally cave with The Hunger Games? People wouldn’t stop talking about it! And I have a bit of FOMO (fear of missing out), especially when it comes to films. I need to know what the big deal is. It turns out that the two franchises are only vaguely linked:
– they are based on a series of young adult books written by a woman;
– they are film franchises with a young cast, largely carried by a rising female star; and
– both contain a somewhat infuriating love triangle.
The aspects of Twilight that I really hated are completely absent here. For a start, Katniss is nothing like Bella. She’s strong, capable, intelligent, not remotely emo and she doesn’t want to kill herself over a guy! Jennifer Lawrence practically carries the films by herself; the guys are the ones in supporting roles.
And what great supporting roles they are too, with the exception of the love interests. I find myself caring less about whether they live or die, or ultimately win Katniss’ heart, and more about the wider cast, including Woody Harrelson’s Haymitch, Lenny Kravitz’s Cinna and Elizabeth Banks’ Effie, who I thought was developed well for Catching Fire. I might even try and read the books before the Mockingjay films are released – the first part is out on 21 November, in case you didn’t already know.
What I couldn’t help noticing the second time around was just how friggin’ fabulous the costumes, hair and makeup were! Do you think Elizabeth Banks gets to keep any of her dresses? And the wedding dress transformation? Wow! Now that’s how you know when you’ve got a great film – it’s in the attention to detail and is something I particularly love about films like Moulin Rouge! and Marie Antoinette. It’s also what’s peaked my curiosity with Jupiter Ascending. The plot sounds pretty naff, but the trailer looks beautiful!
How about you? Have you ever assumed the worse about a film and then been pleasantly surprised? What labels immediately make you switch off?