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The Blue & Gray Press | May 27, 2019

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Lawrence brings heat to theaters in 'Catching Fire'


Lines of people trailed behind movie counters as eager young adults waited for the debut of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” sequel to the famed “Hunger Games” series, on Nov. 22.

In the film, heroine Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark, the “baker’s boy” partook in a victor’s tour, where they visited all the districts to give honorable speeches for the dead tributes from the 74th Hunger Games, the event of the previous movie.

President Snow, fearing Katniss’s ability to fuel an uprising among all the districts and ruin the system of Panem, visited Katniss and threatened her by providing an ultimatum: convince the entire nation that Peeta and her were deeply in love or else everyone she cared about, including Peeta, would be in grave danger.

Unfortunately, Katniss failed to do so. Because of Katniss’s inability to impede the rebellion, Snow schemed to have all the past Hunger Games victors battle in the “Quarter Quell,” an extra special Games that rolls around every 25 years.

Katniss’s and Peeta’s mentor, Haymitch, thought their best chance to survive the games was to form alliances with the competitors. The two “lovers” joined forces, through the plans of Haymitch, with Finnick and his partner, Mags, as a strategy to win the games.

As the game continued, more members joined the alliance. Together, the alliance realized the arena was set up as a clock, wherein each hour a different trap occurred in a section of the arena.

Film director Francis Lawrence captivated the audience with the cinematically engaging scenes with the use of vivid costumes and haunting graphics of poisonous gas and baboons and that made viewers feel the fear of the tributes.

Isabelle Eastham, a junior psychology major at UMW, said, “I am a huge fan of the books and after seeing how well they did with the first ‘Hunger Games’ movie, my expectations were high and were definitely met.”

Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) stepped up her acting game to portray the evolution of a fragile girl to a determined, strong woman.

While the audience was emotionally invested with Lawrence’s character, one could not help but feel emotionally tied to Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), as well. Lawrence and Hutcherson played off each other and created a dynamic and real relationship, complete with all of the emotions resulting from their twisted situation.

“I am forever a Peeta lover. Therefore, their relationship exhausts me,” said Eastham. “I am looking forward to the third movie but don’t ever want them to end!”