I went to see The Hunger Games last Sunday evening. This was after vowing, in no uncertain terms, that I would not go and see The Hunger Games at the cinema.
This was mostly due to the incessant fan-girling (fan-boying?) and hype that has surrounded its release, the fact that after reading Catching Fire I was very disappointed, and the 2h20m screening time that sends me running for cover however much I want to see a film. (Film studies bias, maybe. I have to watch a lot of films. If you haven't said it in 100 minutes, I start to lose the will.)
In the end, though, I enjoyed the film. I liked that it was still Katniss' story, and it didn't bow to any kind of overt Team Boy #1 / Team Boy #2 ridiculousness. (This is what almost put me off reading THG in the first place: a couple of years ago, I attended my local Nanowrimo meet ups and ended up sitting with a bunch of young teenage girls, who were massive and passionate THG fans, and who had managed to reduce the entire series into one big Peeta-vs.-Gale monstrosity.) I always enjoy seeing Donald Sutherland on screen, and I thought Lenny Kravitz and Jennifer Lawrence were both good, too. I liked seeing the build up in the Capitol, and would have probably liked more of the behind-the-scenes stuff if I'm honest, although in an already-long film that would have been pushing it. Although I'd argue that she isn't always particularly likable, Katniss as a character is compelling, and I thought this translated well to the screen.
This morning, I read this blog post at Body of a Geek Goddess, which sums up a lot of the things that bugged me about the film. Not enough to make me dislike it in any way, but I do think a lot of the more nuanced elements of the book were lost. Perhaps this was inevitable, but in the end it made me appreciate the book more than I did on my original reading. When I first read THG, I enjoyed it as a good, solid, exciting book that was sadly diluted by my reading of Catching Fire, which I felt was distinctly lacking. Having seen the film, I'm tempted by a re-read (and maybe even a library reservation for Mockingjay...)