“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” based on the second book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins, premiered on Friday. Everyone assumes that life for Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is finally going to be easy because they were the heroic victors.
But in “Catching Fire” we find out that there are no real victors. The vicious cycle of each year, where children are thrown into a fight to the death in the arena, is never-ending. The ones who survive are scarred with memories of the games and forced to behave under President Snow for the rest of their lives. When one of the participants wins they show the people that there is hope, and the only thing greater than fear is hope. By pulling the stunt of threatening to eat the nightlock berries, which would have killed both her and Peeta, resulting in no winner, and changing her destiny in the first games, Katniss is now a living example of hope and resistance against the capital.
Everyone looks up to her, and President Snow (Donald Sutherland) realizes this and knows she needs to be terminated. However, the new game maker Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has another plan for what he is going to do to Katniss. Snow has already threatened Katniss to keep her act up of loving Peeta so well that everyone believes it. Everyone has to believe it, or it will be her family who pays the price.
After getting closer to longtime friend Gale, Katniss’ heart is even more torn when she is again forced to be the “star-crossed lovers from District 12” on a week-long tour of the districts. While dealing with the internal battle within her own love life, Katniss also begins to see signs of a war forming – and it is all her fault. What she wonders is if her influence is benefiting anyone or not.
Lawrence is amazingly convincing throughout emotional and physically demanding scenes. As Katniss, he has become iconic as the “Girl on Fire.” Her fiery spirit and actions are just what changes this second Hunger Games film from the story of a poor girl who is unfortunately put into the games to an incredibly strong and powerful icon who makes a difference to the entire population.