Catching Fire and Film Adaptations

Article by: Isabel Quah

Photographs collated by: Joshua Soroño

HUNGER-GAMES

“Catching Fire” – the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ second book in The Hunger Games trilogy – hit theaters on November 21st. It has been showered with accolades from film critics and fans, alike. But movie adaptations are not always so well received.

Overwhelmingly large fan bases are the driving factor for young adult book to film adaptations, but these fan bases also have high expectations. Often, book inspired films lead to a handful of disappointed viewers.  Senior Jacob Hobbins remarks that the “positive aspect of a book series being adapted into film is that you get to see your imagination come to life on the big screen, which is always fantastic. It’s like an hour and thirty minute long inside joke”. Of course, he adds, “inaccuracies and bad directing can ruin the experience.”

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Freshman Alex Lawrie notes that with regards to Catching Fire, “the movie was quite close to the book,” but she also felt that the movie lost some of the suspense and emotional tension that makes the series so gripping. Cleveland movie critic George Thomas agrees. “In some respect,” he explains, “it feels as if [director] Francis Lawrence actually reboots the franchise.” Because of that “reboot” the audience slogs through that first half hour. After that, he builds tension and pieces together a compelling narrative that builds to an ending, giving fans something to look forward to. Thomas concludes, “That is a rarity in the world of movie series.”

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