Katniss And The Consequences Of War: Talking With Hunger Games: Catching Fire Director Francis Lawrence

By Eric Eisenberg 2013-11-21 17:14:50discussion comments
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Throughout the film, there are these interesting mirrored elements. In the beginning, just like the first film, you open up with Katniss and Gale in the woods and like you have the progression through the Hunger Games, but at the same time, itís not the same as the first movie. There is that darker twist that comes with each of those mirrored scenes and the presentation of a new context. So, when you were approaching those parts of the story were you just immediately thinking, "I need to make this distinct and different"?

There is a structural similarity in some places that Catching Fire has to the first movie, and thatís that at a certain point theyíre going to be reaped. At a certain point theyíre going to go to the capitol. At a certain point, theyíre going to go on to training. At a certain point theyíre going to ride on chariots through the capitol, right? So, on any of these kind of moments, where you could possibly feel like youíve been there, done that in the first movie, it was really important for me not to tweak it visually as much as the important thing for me was that it had to have to have a completely different emotional value. So, if last time the training is sort of assessing the threat, like, "Oh my God, who are these people? Whoís going to be killing us? How do we use these weapons," and theyíre sort of deer in the headlights, this time it was like a scouting mission, right? Itís all about alliance and this time itís like, "Ok, I donít like this, so Iíve got to go find people." Itís going around to see if you can find the people you want to ally with. The chariots the last time was, "Oh my God, what is this?" and youíre sort of freaked out and people are crazy, right? This time, youíre a pro. Youíre not going to wave to anybody. Itís a face-off with [President] Snow, right? And so, the feeling is entirely different. As another layer, then you can say, well if last time it opened at night, letís go see the opening of the tributes during the day. Letís open it up. Letís see some scale. Letís see all of the people. Letís see more of the capitol and more of the pomp and it just kind of made that stuff fun for me.

One thought that stuck with me watching the movie is the idea of the consequences of war. Itís not just the consequences of the war in the past and the world in which theyíre living, but itís also looking towards the future and understanding what war would mean for that future.

Thatís also one of the reasons why I was really excited to take this movie on. Itís because this is the movie where all the stuff starts to kick in, and you start to see the damage that the games have taken on Katniss and on Peeta and you start to understand the reasons Haymitch is the way he is. When you meet the new victors, you start to see how theyíve all been affected by the games.

This is a great post-traumatic stress aspect in that.

Oh yeah, huge. I mean you see it in the opening sequence in the movie, and we play that throughout. Itís a big part of it, and itís just the escalation. Itís the beginning of the escalation of that and we only get deeper and deeper into it in Mockingjay, but, you know, thereís a warning very early on from President Snow. Do you want to know what real war looks like? And itís like, thatís where weíre headed, and itís the real deal. Itís a great thing for young people to know that sometimes it only takes that voice. Part of whatís great about the movies is that no matter what, itís not set up as this kind of idealistic thing. Thereís consequences.

Thereís no revolution without blood.

No, absolutely, and sometimes by the way, the good guys arenít always so good, and itís you know, itís the great thing about Suzanne [Collins]ís novels and the exciting thing about the stories.
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