Thursday, February 20, 2014

Catching Fire: irrevocably, hopelessly in love with Peeta Mellark


After winning the 74th Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return home to District 12. Katniss is distant from Peeta, resuming her life as if the things they share back in the Hunger Games never happened.

Katniss expected that when she returned home everything would be the same, but now her best friend, Gale (Liam Hemsworth), seems farther away than ever now that he works in District 12's mines twelve full hours a day, and with the Victory Tour coming up, Katniss has more on her mind than ever. During much of the day, Katniss is bored with her new life because now, she has everything: money, a good home, and a constant supply of food. One day after Katniss returns home from hunting game outside of the District, an unexpected visitor appears, President Snow (Donald Sutherland), the president of Panem.

Snow awaits with his threat

Snow explains to Katniss that during the last Hunger Games when she tried to commit suicide with Peeta by eating poisonous nightlock berries, she ignited a possible uprising in the districts. President Snow and Katniss have a lengthy conversation about the fact that if she doesn't convince the districts that she made the decision out of temporary lovesickness, then he would personally make sure she suffers.  He then orders her to use the Tour to convince everyone her actions were out of genuine love for Peeta, not defiance against the Capitol.

Effie (Elizabeth Banks) and the prep team soon arrive at District 12 to prepare and escort Katniss and Peeta for the Victory Tour.

a show of a Couple

Back on the train, Katniss and Peeta somewhat mend their fences, and console each other when the nightmares hit.

As the tour begins, they make the first stop at District 11. Effie has provided them with cue cards written with the customary words to say. It is especially hard for Katniss as Rue who was her ally and Thresh who spared her life back in the Games, were both from District 11.

On impulse, Peeta has announced that a month of their Victor's winnings will be given once a year to Rue's and Thresh's families for the rest of Peeta and Katniss' lives, much to the shock of the people as it was never done before.

They then are ushered to leave but Katniss falters as she looks at Rue's picture. She delivers a brief speech, thanking the people of District 11 for their participants in the Games, personally acknowledging Rue as her friend and Thresh's mercy for her is one debt she can never repay.

When she finishes, an old man whistles the tune that Katniss used in the arena to tell Rue that she was safe. The song acts as a signal and everyone salutes Katniss, using the same gesture that she used to say farewell to Rue. To the horror of Katniss, the old man and two others are executed.

Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) pacifies Katniss and brings her and Peeta to a secluded room in the building where Katniss confesses of Snow's threat to him and Peeta. She is aghast and frightened, pleading with Haymitch to help her go through the Trip as Snow requested. Instead Haymitch warns Katniss and Peeta that the "show" of their relationship must continue for the rest of their lives, not only as Victors but also the Mentors to the upcoming tributes from District 12.

In the following stops, both Katniss and Peeta try their best to subdue the restlessness in the audience but to no avail as dissents are getting louder, demanding Katniss to abandon the scripted speech and instead voice out what she really feels.

At lost, Katniss finally suggests a public engagement between herself and Peeta, which is carried out much to the delight of the Capitol and then congratulated by Snow at his mansion in the Capitol.

Yet, Snow does indicate to Katniss that he is not at all convinced of her love for Peeta, regardlessly.

Returning home, Katniss warns Gale of Snow's threat to kill both their families. Peacekeepers crack down on District 12 and Gale is publicly whipped after attacking new Head Peacekeeper Romulus Thread.

Snow announces a special Hunger Games, the Third Quarter Quell, where all tributes will be selected from previous victors. Katniss immediately devotes herself to ensuring Peeta survives, recruiting Haymitch's help to do so.

defiant into the Reaping

saying goodbye

At the reaping, Effie Trinket draws Katniss and Haymitch's names, but Peeta immediately volunteers to take Haymitch's place. They then are taken straight to the Capitol and appear to the crowd during the Parade.

Katniss first meeting with Finnick the seducer

love the gong. it was impressive!

Katniss and Peeta's first meeting with Johanna

As they prepare for the Quell, Haymitch reveals that all the tributes are angry at being returned to the Games and advises a reluctant Katniss to make allies with ones that she and Peeta feel comfortable during the Practice.

scouting for allies

the Head Gamemaker

In the pre-Games interviews, Katniss wears her wedding dress, as ordered by President Snow, but her stylist Cinna (Lenny Kravitz) rigs it to transform into a representation of a mockingjay, much to the delight of the  audience.


Peeta announces that they are expecting a baby which causes outrage and the audience of Capitol citizens to begin shouting for the Games to be stopped. The show later has to be cut as the tributes hold hands as a show of solidarity.

the Cornucopia is a lake

thankfully Peeta survives from drowning
In the Games, Katniss and Peeta allies with Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin) who shows Haymitch's golden Bangle token as a signal of their alliance. Elderly Mags (Lynn Cohen), Finnick's mentor tags along as they move away from the Cornucopia. The arena's outer forcefield shocks Peeta, stopping his heartbeat until Finnick revives him.



After your first Games, I thought the whole romance was an act on your part. We all expected you’d continue that strategy. But it wasn’t until Peeta hit the force field and nearly died that I — " Finnick hesitates.
That you what?
That I knew I’d misjudged you. That you do love him. I’m not saying in what way. Maybe you don’t know yourself. But anyone paying attention could see how much you care about him

Finnick's reaffirming his allegiance.

 The group flees a poisonous fog, and Mags sacrifices herself so as to avoid slowing them down.

the water helps revive them from the poison

When vicious mandrills attack, Peeta is saved by the unexpected sacrifice of Morphling, a tribute from District 6.

The group escapes to a beach and meets District 3's Wiress (Amanda Plummer) and Beetee (Jeffrey Wright), and District 7's Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) who manage to escape from the rain of blood. In anger Johanna mouths off that she brought both Wiress and Beetee because Katniss originally requested the pair as the allies she wants.

Wiress keeps mumbling "Tick Tock" over and over again that confirms Katniss' suspicion that the arena is designed like a clock with regular hazards at each hour and the Cornucopia as its centre.

However as the group collect their supplies from the Cornucopia, Wires is killed soon after in a battle with the remaining Careers. The group survive the attack and return to the beach, only for Katniss and Finnick to be taunted by jabberjays with the voice of their loved ones being tortured.


Beetee suggests using one of the hazards, a tree that is struck by lightning every 12 hours, and a coil of wire to electrocute the other remaining tributes. As they wait for the lightning to strike in the next 8 hours, Peeta and Katniss got to talking. It is obvious to the pair that soon they have to split from their allies in order to survive once the Careers are dead. And Peeta takes the opportunity to give Katniss his token, the golden Medallion that he asked Effie to make him, as a reminder of what she has back home: her mom, Prim and Gale.


that "look" (swoons)

the last goodbye

The group separates to prepare the trap, but once alone Johanna appears to attack Katniss — in reality cutting the tracker from Katniss' arm. Katniss returns to the tree and finds an unconscious Beetee with the wire from the tree attached to a makeshift spear.

Unable to find Peeta, Katniss almost attacks Finnick, but Finnick reminds her to consider "who the real enemy is", as Haymitch had advised her prior to the Games. Katniss attaches the remaining wire to an arrow and shoots it into the arena forcefield as the lightning hits, causing a power failure that takes down the dome's forcefield as well as the Capitol's surveillance.

The aftershocks cause Katniss to be blown away, almost unconscious as an aircraft appear to lift her out of the arena.

Katniss awakens later to find Haymitch, Beetee, Finnick, and Plutarch Heavensbee, the head Gamemaker, who is revealed to be a rebel against Snow. He tells her the aircraft is bound for District 13, headquarters of the new rebellion, and that half the tributes were aware of the plan to escape with Katniss, as a symbol for the growing rebellion. They were unable to rescue Peeta and Johanna, who were taken by the Capitol.

A distraught Katniss is sedated after attacking Haymitch. She later awakens to find Gale by her side, who reassures that her family is safe but also tells her that District 12 no longer exists.

Character Pix:



i finished reading Mockingjay, falling irretrievably in love with Peeta, that Katniss made the most logical decision in marrying him. and watching this movie, it reaffirms my feelings regarding Peeta. the vulnerability, void of self-pity embodied by JH simply melts my heart. that his care for her runs deep, that regardless of what the world can be, he is solid and always there for her.

you know what, Haymitch's statement that Katniss could live a thousand lives and not deserve him is spot on. Peeta understands Katniss' needs to be with Gale, and he willingly protects and cares for Gale as the latter lay senseless from the whippings. and he knew from the start that going into the Quell, his sole purpose is keeping Katniss safe so that she can come back to Gale and her family. this he feels strongly regardless the cold, indifferent treatment Katniss subjects to him ever since they get back from the Hunger Games.

what i like most about Peeta is his rock solid sense in right and wrong. and that he's always sensible, optimistic. the perfect antidote to Katniss' impulsiveness and inability to connect to those who matters most.

i think JH has evolved in this movie. he transcends from the baker boy into a man with a purpose. somewhat with a glib tongue no doubt but truly genuine. you can feel it in his gaze, words and body language.

Katniss is in her full glory. raging within, desperate, rather mentally unhinged sometimes. i couldn't help feeling that Katniss' media presence is not at all unlike JL's persona in the eyes of the real media. she's playful, full of self-deprecating humor and totally uncaring. one of my favourite scenes would have been her impulsive, straight-from-the-heart speech in addressing the District 11. her pain, her regrets for not being able to save Rue is evident.

as for Finnick, ... i like SC's portrayal of him more than in the book. he was charming and flirtatious. and pass all the playfulness, the playboy conveys enough pain and self-loathing. not an easy feat but SC's done that, perfectly. his speech for Annie is somewhat corny though. and the scene where Katniss found him sane and functioning, deep in conversation with Haymitch and Plutarch as they head to District 13, i mean, simply not add up. because by then he would have known Annie was taken by the Capitol.

Johanna was fun to watch too. her anger, and dare devilry simply delightful. indeed, i think JM has outdone herself. i am so looking forward for her outing in Mockingjay. she does deserve to be pitied though as she simply states there's no one that i love left.. #heartbreaking, no wonder she's so angry at Panem.

 her wink in the elevator, i was like, dem, i love Johanna's quirkiness!

hahahah. love Katniss' reaction :)

LK's portrayal of Cinna in this movie is rather disappointing. i fail to feel Cinna's depth of feelings, his loathing at the Capitol. Cinna by the book is a tortured soul, rebellious in his quiet way and visionary at his best.

in parts i feel that the film fails to convey some of the essence of the book. yet, the faithfulness in commemorating Katniss-Peeta's relationship, in showing different facets of Katniss as she struggles to keep her loved ones safe, do bring the movie forward, in a way, much better than the first installment. though i do admit JL is not afraid to reveal her deranged look when she thought Peeta was dead due to the force field shock. i mean it, she looks real unhinged!

in overall, i finished watching this movie rather looking forward to see how the characters developed. it is sad to see Peeta soon in Mockingjay, when he's subjected to torment and torture. but one thing for sure, i'm glad JH is cast as Peeta Mellark. for he is perfect in every essence of Peeta Mellark that i fall in love with in the novel.