The Hunger Games: Catching Views?


With the New Year comes many things, from changing the number you write on the top of all of your papers to starting a clean slate and filling it with resolutions aimed at improving your life. In addition to new dates and new goals, the New Year also brings new movies. These tend to be highly anticipated films scheduled for release over the holidays, when vacationing viewers have leisure time to spend at the cinema. Many holiday films have already made their debut such as Thor, Frozen, and The Book Thief, but perhaps the most riveting and enticing movie of them all is the new Hunger Games movie, Catching Fire.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second installment of what will be a series of four movies based on the best selling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. After ravenous readers had finished flipping through the pages of all three books, they craved more. This was fulfilled with the release of The Hunger Games in 2012, which meant the first book had come to the big screen. Catching Fire builds on the box office success of the first movie, which drew hordes of crazed fans and lots of praise by critics.

Sequels don’t usually do as well as their predecessor, but two years later and after the hype from the first movie has had a chance to settle down, Catching Fire broke box office records by attracting more than one million viewers from all over the world on opening night. While it has only been out for about two weeks now, critics are already claiming it to be “one of the year’s most thought provoking block busters.”

Taking place where the first movie left off, Catching Fire begins as the heroine Katniss Everdeen and hero Peeta Mellark are getting ready for a victory tour after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games. While touring Panem’s 12 districts Katniss senses a rebellion is brewing but the Capitol is still very much in control as the evil President Snow plans the 75th Annual Hunger Games (The Quarter Quell). This time ups the ante by creating a twist: rather than being played by kids randomly chosen through a lottery, the Hunger Games will be played by former winners. And yes, you guessed it, Peeta and Katniss are two of them.

Sarah Atkinson, a student here at our very own Ipswich High School, has been a devoted Hunger Games fan since the books were first published. I had the privilege of attending the premier of Catching Fire with her and after the movie ended, was curious to know what she thought. When asked of her opinion, she frantically replied: “That was a great movie! It followed the book almost exactly!” Sarah’s reaction seemed to be shared by many. The movie theater was packed from the front row to the very last with enthusiastic fans that had been anxiously waiting for two years to see this highly anticipated sequel. As part of this lively audience, I can attest to the fact that this dramatic and action-packed film kept us all on the edge of our seats for the entire 2 hours and 26 minutes. When it ended, the crowd went crazy with applause.

Hype has already started for the next installment, which will be the first of a two-part adaptation of the third and final book: Mockingjay. That is the sign of a good movie. Even Mr. Ames, our beloved history teacher here at Ipswich High school, who does not have a lot of free time on his hands, managed to make a trip out to see Catching Fire. He said: “I had to see what everyone was talking about. And now I understand why everyone loves this movie; it is a great suspenseful film.”

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire may have broken box office records, but will that fire continue to be fueled or will it smolder as additional new and exciting movies are released and more and more people venture out to see them? Only time can tell. We will see what the New Year holds in store. Either way, one thing is for sure, Catching Fire is sure to add spark to your holiday season!