Over the weekend I saw Catching Fire. The Hunger Games was good- it was intriguing, full of action, and overall a good story. But Catching Fire was different in the way it was very moving. The Hunger Games didn't leave me emotional but Catching Fire definitely did. I picked up on many symbols throughout the film that were very inspiring- there was a theme that actually meant something, which The Hunger Games seemed to lack.
Three parts in the movie really stuck out to me.
one // Katniss's wedding dress
The transformation of Katniss's wedding dress was genius. In the first film, when Katniss went onstage before the Games, flames appeared under her dress when she twirled, hence the name "Girl on Fire." But this time, she wore her dress onstage (the one she was supposed to get married to Peeta in) and when she twirled, the flames appeared and burned off the wedding dress, revealing a Mockingjay-themed dress. This was a really excellent symbol of how Katniss was "burning" her reputation as a product of the Capitol and transforming into the face of the Revolution. I could also really connect this concept to feminism. The way Katniss diminishes what sets her apart as a woman and reveals what's underneath is an excellent representation of how a hero is a hero regardless of what they look like.
two // "The odds are never in our favor."
If you've seen the first Hunger Games, then you know "May the odds be ever in your favor" is kind of the signature tagline. The significance of this graffiti on the wall didn't stick out to me until the end. It is a bit of a foreshadowing of the next quote...
three // "Remember who the real enemy is."
At the end of the movie, Katniss sees Finnick looking for her and she draws her bow. She is reluctant, as they're allies, but she knows she'll just have to kill him eventually. Finnick sees her and just says, "remember who the real enemy is." Katniss then realizes what she has to do. Trying to kill the other tributes will do nothing because it sinks in that she's already learned that the Capitol will just find a new way to torture her. (This is when I realized the significance of "The odds are never in our favor.") So she wraps wire around her arrow and points it at the sky, destroying the invisible wall that is surrounding the arena when lightning strikes and stopping the 75th Hunger Games.
When the claw thing comes down to pick up Katniss and bring her up to the airplane thing, I thought it would have been an excellent place to end the story if she just died right there, not even in a sad way. When Katniss rises up in the flames, knowing that she just destroyed the Games, it's very glorious. I think it would be even more glorious if she was dying, knowing that she changed everything in her life and nothing would ever be the same again. It felt right to have the screen fade out.....but then of course, she woke up gasping with an oxygen mask on.
I think Catching Fire was more emotional than The Hunger Games because it's more relatable. It becomes less of a fictional dystopian universe and takes on the identity of a symbol of the real world. All the events that happen in it have not happened and probably won't, but they represent things that do happen with the same emotions and outcomes attached to them. I love that quote, "remember who the real enemy is." It encourages us to stop fighting people for the benefit of ourselves in a certain situation and look at the bigger picture, enabling us to fight off the thing that is causing these bad things to happen. We're always fighting another person, another country, another organization. Why can't we be fighting injustice and inequality? Perhaps, in the end, this is supposed to teach us something. Most of all, I think this film is supposed to be uplifting and suggesting hope.
What did you think of Catching Fire?