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Oz Reimagined as a Fascist State in Peter Debruge’s Fine “Catching Fire”

In response to Peter Debruge’s 1181‑word review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on Variety

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It may ramble rather than amble, but there are some real gems in Peter Debruge’s ebullient and incisive “Film Review: ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,’” a fine bit of film criticism that doesn’t miss a thing.

This is, after all, “Oz reimagined as a fascist state,” and Debruge drinks it in like tea on a chilly Sunday evening. What does such a grim backdrop have to offer—according to Catching Fire Review, plenty of glitz and glamour to make the dismal state of the citizens of Panem almost disappear. Almost.

Debruge’s fine descriptions border on the visual themselves, but they’re intercut by some outside observations. There are flashes of political commentary, a reference to a Bradbury short, a quick nod to the Star Wars franchise. However, Catching Fire Review is less comparative literature and more making sense of a puzzle, the pieces (according to the author) fitting together perfectly.

In the end, Debruge can’t be faulted for the length of his piece, as some of the observations offered in Catching Fire Review are unlikely to appear in another work. Further, the piece is delightfully spoiler-free—a kindness to the interested reader.

Catching Fire Review will keep readers interested, in no small part due to the auteur’s strong command of his work. A phenomenal early edition this Hunger Games season.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation