Catching Fire: Book to Movie

Catching Fire

Still of Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. (Photo by Murray Close – © 2013 - Lionsgate)

by Anthony Krueger

The spark that started a revolution struck again on Nov. 22 when theaters released the second installment of The Hunger Games franchise.

Catching Fire, the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy, picks up where the last film left off, right after the 74th Annual Hunger Games, when Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark return to their home district.

Loyal fans across the country swarmed to the theaters to see how Hollywood adapted the beloved book onto the big screen.

One of those movie goers was Mount Saint Mary College’s own Assistant Director of Student Activities Caitlin Houlihan. Houlihan said the film was an overall success; a few points were missing or cut out, but it was all to keep the story within a 146 minutes time block. However, there were a few important events that weren’t included in the movie’s plot that Houlihan believes would have been nice to see.

“The film did not go into enough character development regarding the other victors,” said Houlihan, “especially with Finnick Odair, whose large role continues into the third installment, Mockingjay.”

All the backstories of the Quarter Quell’s victors help the reader understand where they came from and, more importantly, what drives them.

“In the book, Katniss’ pregnancy changes the way many of other victors view her in the arena and what they will or will not let her try to do,” said Houlihan. “The pregnancy is forgotten about in the film almost immediately following Peeta’s announcement with Ceasar.”

Houlihan also said District 13 was only mentioned at the end of the movie, where in the book it was a constant thought for Katniss.

“Two women from District 8 who were traveling to District 13 to seek for its existence, they placed the idea in Katniss’ head,” said Houlihan.

It’s not so much that those who didn’t read the books won’t understand the concept of District 13; but they cut back on providing the backstories to help the plot thrive.

“All information regarding this district and its past will presumably be covered in the beginning of the first Mockingjay installment,” said Houlihan.

So the hope is since the third installment in the series has been split into two movies, like the Harry Potter and Twilight films, the director may have cut out some of details in the second film to use for the final two films.

Whether you thought the movie was a complete bust or piece of Hollywood magic, it is safe to assume that The Hunger Game’s second installment Catching Fire, from book to movie, does not disappoint.