Lawrence sows seeds of revolution in return to 'Hunger Games'

Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:01pm EST
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - One teenage girl and her bow and arrow become a mighty symbol for revolution in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," as Hollywood's reigning young adult franchise goes deeper and darker to explore the impact of violence on a community.

"Catching Fire," out in theaters on November 22, is based on the second novel in the "Hunger Games" trilogy by author Suzanne Collins, set in the dystopian futuristic society of Panem, where the government forces 24 children to annually fight to the death in a live televised event.

In the new film, heroine Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence, and her partner Peeta Mellark have returned victorious from the Hunger Games, viewed by the public as star-crossed young lovers who finally get their happy ending. But the much harsher reality sees both dealing with residual trauma from the brutality they suffered and were forced to inflict in the first games.

As the annual Hunger Games once again comes around, Katniss and Peeta find themselves back in the arena, their worst nightmare. But this time, their heroic actions from the first games have set off a underground movement for revolution.

"This is the next step of Katniss' heroism and the next part of her journey to finding out who is she really going to be," said Lawrence, one of Hollywood's hottest stars after winning the Oscar for best actress this year.

"Is she going to stand up and lead this rebellion? Is she going to run away or is she going to fight? Everything is on a much bigger scale in this movie, the stakes are much higher."

The success of 2012's "The Hunger Games," which made nearly $700 million at the worldwide box office, has ushered in a new era of dark and dystopian young adult films featuring teenage leads who become beacons for hope, such as Ender Wiggin in last month's "Ender's Game" or Tris Prior in next year's "Divergent."

Early reviews for "Catching Fire" were positive and critics praised it for being quite faithful to the original book.   Continued...

Cast member Jennifer Lawrence arrives for a red carpet event before the German premiere of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" in Berlin, November 12, 2013. REUTERS/Thomas Peter