Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Tiresome

For me, the 75th Hunger Games proved to be as tiresome, and no less unfulfilling, as the 74th.

Barely have Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her cohorts returned to their impoverished District 12 after their victory in Hunger Games 74 and embark on the victory tour when they’re caught up in President Snow’s plot to destroy Katniss for inspiring rebellion in the districts.

Kill or Be Killed

Snow is beset by the same worry that besets all tyrants, from Stalin to Kim Jong-un.

The constant fear that rebellion could lead to an uprising that could bring forth the dreaded revolution.

Along with a violent crackdown on the districts, Snow orders all current champions to compete in the Quarter Quell, a once in 25-years event a.k.a. 75th Hunger Games.

Katniss and her boy-toy Peeta get the dire warning from their mentor Haymitch Abernathy:

Last year was child’s play. This year, we’re going to be dealing with disciplined killers.

The rest of Hunger Games Catching Fire is a regurgitation of the wild, Darwinian kill or be killed adventure in the forests.

Escape from the poisonous fog; Escape from the wild baboons; Escape from lightning; Escape from blood rain; Escape from the rivals.

None of which I found stirring.

Meanwhile, I prayed for escape from the endless tedium but to little avail.

On a conceptual level, it’s as if the Hunger Games producers have a fixed template and made some changes within the framework and released it as the second film in the series.

Jennifer Lawrence is a top-notch actress, perhaps the best among the younger crop of Hollywood stars.

I greatly enjoyed seeing Jennifer’s remarkable performances in Winter’s Bone and Silver Linings Playbook (for which she won the Best Actress Oscar last year).

But the two Hunger Games films have left me cold!

Bizarre Response

Thanks to the well orchestrated maelstrom of publicity surrounding the Hunger Games series and the obsession of teenagers, last night’s release of the sequel attracted a sizable crowd.

Theatres across America are running multiple shows of Hunger Games: Catching Fire to almost full capacity.

I find it mystifying that mediocre movies like Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga that combine a romance triangle with some wild adventurist fantasy have struck a huge chord with America’s youngsters, particularly girls.

Perhaps, the answer to success of such drivel is rooted in the grim hopelessness that America’s youngsters are staring at.

America’s youth lives in a miasma of fear today – fear of not getting jobs, fear of not finding money for the obscene cost of college education, fear of not getting adequate healthcare, fear of not being able to maintain current standards of living, fear of not being able to afford the latest electronic toys, fear of not finding the money to repay their high debts, fear of losing their jobs, fear of losing their homes, fear ad nauseum.

Maybe, these fear-ridden zombies misguidedly believe President Snow is right when he intones: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear.

In my not-so-humble opinion, hope is deadlier than fear because it lulls you into inaction. Fear, at least, prods you to some action.

Hunger Games: Catching Fire ends abruptly suggesting we’re in for another ordeal via the third installment.

God, I hope the revolution will be complete and Katniss brings down President Snow and the Capitol so that my suffering ends.

16 Responses to "Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Tiresome"

  1. boopalanj   November 22, 2013 at 12:16 pm


    Any plans for Irandam Ulagam?

    I guess you won’t miss a thing if you skip it. Responds:

    1. No, because it’s not playing anywhere close by. Nearest theatre involves a 340-km round trip.

    2. You write: I guess you won’t miss a thing if you skip it.

    Are the reviews so bad?

    • boopalanj   November 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

      I watched it this noon. Was not worth the hype. Responds:

      I believe Selvaraghaan has spent a ton of money on the film…wonder if the producers will recover the cost!

      • boopalanj   November 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm

        I’ll be surprised if it breaks even.

        But, who knows what can happen with the people of Tamilnadu and Andhrapradesh ! Responds:

        That is true but Selvaraghavan doesn’t have as big a “mass” following because he’s a better director.

      • Madmax673   November 22, 2013 at 5:56 pm

        I was wondering why Selvaraghavan chose Arya. Responds:

        Perhaps, he was the cheapest!

        In Ayirathil Oruvan too, Selva took the then-newbie Karthi.

        • boopalanj   November 23, 2013 at 1:41 pm

          We were kinda okie to see arya, shoddy graphics work, a long film, etc because the director usually tries something new / comes up with something, good or bad, but original.

          While he did try something original, what we did not like was the execution. Screen play with mostly predictable scenes, slow pace of the story, soulless acting by Arya and senseless dialogs.

          We could not resist ourselves comparing some of the possibly-inspired elements of ‘the second world’ to avatar movie – Anushka’s Neytiri-like characterization and her fight with the beastly creature, sky, bioluminescent plants / creatures, Amma – mother goddess equivalent of Eywa, etc. But Cameron’s homework was enormous and every single thing had a scientific reasoning (the creatures / language grammar / Pandoran biosphere). Here we saw two worlds being merged at one point just because ‘amma’ watches and smiles mystically 🙁

          We liked Anirudh’s background score though. Reminded me ‘Midnight in Paris’ at some places.

          Seemed much like he finished the film in a hurry, before he finished thinking on the script.



          Hmmm, after seeing one or two interviews of Selva I thought he had created a masterpiece!

          Looks like it’s far from that!

        • Madmax673   November 24, 2013 at 1:59 am

          Karthi really surprised me in “Paruthi Veeran”.

          He never looked like a noob as much as I saw.

          So Selvaraghavan opting for Karthi in “Ayirathil Oruvan” made sense.

          Arya is a bad actor.


          Regarding Arya, is there a Reservation category for Muslims in the Tamil cinema industry?

          • Madmax673   November 25, 2013 at 3:43 am

            Off topic: Did you watch “28 days later”?

            I just cant get this Brian Eno’s score “An Ending” outta my head. Just bought it on iTunes. Anytime I hear this piece it makes my heart pound off and that just keeps rolling on and on away from me. This “An ending” worked exceptionally well with that particular scene. Couldn’t find that scene, unfortunatley. But at least I got that music:


            Guess where “I am Legend” came from 😉


            No, I haven’t seen 28 Days Later!

            But I liked the above track and just purchased it at iTunes.

            If you love movie soundtracks/scores, then Ennio Morricone 50 Movie Theme Hits is a must buy.

            Unfortunately, a new 3-CD set is $100 now at Amazon. I got it cheap at Borders seven or eight years back.

            But you can get an used CD set of Ennio Morricone 50 Movie Theme Hits on Amazon for just $1.75 plus shipping ($3.99).

            Priceless, in my not so humble opinion! 😉

          • boopalanj   November 25, 2013 at 2:36 pm

            Out of the 50, Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo is one of our long-time favorites 🙂

            I think, SI bought this one separately from iTunes sometime back.


            Yes, sweetie!

            I have the three CDs.

            Listening to one of the tracks from Disc 1 in the background – Faccia A Faccia.

            Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo is one of my favorites too!

          • Madmax673   November 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

            Didn’t know Arya’s real name until I read your question 🙂

            By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!


            Happy Thanksgiving to you & your family too, sweetie!

            I wonder how turkey would taste after marination in Indian spices and grilling it in the Tandoor.

            Haven’t heard of any Indian restaurant offering Tandoori Turkey in NJ, NY, DC, VA or PA.

  2. rakeshbaba   November 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm Responds:

    Is this CGI (computer generated graphics) ? 😉

    • rakeshbaba   November 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

      Off-topic: Responds:

      1. I will acknowledge that the Volvo ad is attention grabbing.

      But Van Damme gives tough competition to Arnold & Stallone in bad ass acting!

      2. Aren’t Volvo buses the ones that are involved in accidents that have killed a lot of people in South India.

  3. sam   November 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Today polling started in MP. Around 55% polling till evening.

    Kaun Jeetega? Responds:

    The people of Madhya Pradesh will lose if either BJP or Congress is voted to power.

  4. kage_11   November 27, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Off Topic:
    Got a review request for ….. Was it you? Or is it some spam?

    Will do it this week or the next week. Responds:

    Yes, sweetie! It was moi who sent you the e-mail last night.

    I look forward to reading your piece.

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