Each time I see a movie adaptation of a book I’ve read, I’m going to compare them to each other. Normally, I don’t like book-to-movie adaptations. But, every once in a while, I find one I even like better than the book. I thought it might be fun to talk about why.
I read Catching Fire when it was first released, having waited almost a year since I had read The Hunger Games. Then, I reread it when Mockingjay was released because I wanted to experience the entire series as one seamless story.
I adored Catching Fire. It’s my favorite of the trilogy. It’s a lot like The Hunger Games, yet different enough that it didn’t feel the same. I loved being with my favorite characters from the first book and enjoyed meeting the new characters. I also loved the interaction between Katniss and Peeta; it seemed more genuine, even if it was conflicted.
I loved the new arena for the Quarter Quell. It was so imaginative and had such interesting obstacles. I loved seeing the seeds of rebellion, the bravery of the citizens, and how all of that affected the districts and the Capitol and the emotion it caused.
And, of course, the ending! The ending! Catching Fire is the The Empire Strikes Back of the The Hunger Games trilogy. Cliffhanger, no closure, everything left in peril. The wait for Mockingjay was excruciating.
When I saw the previews for Catching Fire, I was super excited to see the movie. I honestly didn’t really fear that the movie would disappoint me because I loved The Hunger Games movie so much. The filmmakers for this series have really captured the essence of these stories so well.
Now, having seen the movie, I can honestly say that there isn’t an ounce of disappointment in me. The movie was perfect. I don’t think the book could’ve been better adapted for the screen. Sure, there were a few changes and a few things left out to fit the allotted time. But, the changes were good. Just like with The Hunger Games, you get to get out of Katniss’s purview for a little bit and see how the games are run, how President Snow interacts with the head gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee.
The actors have grown into their roles so well. I was so worried about Josh Hutcherson at first and now I think he makes a perfect Peeta. I loved the additions and their interpretations of the characters: Jena Malone (Johanna), Amanda Plummer (Wiress), Sam Claflin (Finnick), etc. And, no one can beat Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman.
Seeing the arena on screen was so awesome! It’s like it came right out of my imagination. It was so intense and scary to watch the obstacles come to life! The emotions in this film were intense and spot on. I cried so many times because of things I knew where coming and because of things that happened, especially with the riots.
And, like the book, the ending! The ending! It’s bad enough that we have to wait at least a year for part of the ending, but we also have to wait at least two years for the full ending since Mockingjay is being filmed in two parts. I’m just glad I know how everything ends and that I was satisfied with the ending. It’ll help make the wait for the movies not as excruciating.
This doesn’t happen too often. But, I honestly can say that I loved the movie just as much as I loved the book.
Have you read the book and seen the movie? What did you think? Which do you like better?