Basically i'm going to break this down as plainly and unbiased as possible for anyone who is just picking this up without having read the books or watched the movie. So bear with me as i wade through gory details. And if you're not a fan of spoiler alerts, now would be a good time to go elsewhere because i can't be held accountable for what i say from here out.
Let me start off by saying that the movie was mediocre. Approaching it from the standpoint of someone who hadn't read the books, you wouldn't have the slightest clue of what things were happening and why they were happening and how they came to be. The reason for this is because Suzanne Collins, the author of the hunger games, went into great detail surrounding the universe and what happened leading up to where the book really starts as well as putting a definite bold, underline surrounding the hardships of the districts.
I went to see the movie with my two siblings, both who had only read the first book and i bring this up because i want to outline the extreme differences between my understanding of the events in the movie (having read all 3 books) and their understanding. Both of my younger siblings were constantly leaning over and inquiring as to what was going on, why things were happening during the early events of the first book i had to explain things to them vaguely using my knowledge of the second and third books to get them to understand without ruining the excitement for them to read the last two books themselves.
Coming at the movie from the perspective of a person who read all three books, there were several minor subtleties inside the film that made me smile inside. Subtle foreshadowing during Katniss's trackerjacker trip which she envisions District 12's ultimate destruction, the emphasis of Haymitch's reactions to what Katniss is experiencing and showing brief snip-its of his hard work behind the scenes to get her the items, the scenes inside the control center for the arena and showing how the workers alter the atmosphere, time of day, and employ the traps to liven things up. Also, with the scenes from inside the control room there is brief foreshadowing as to the fact that there is an outer rim to the arenas. This comes too early in the movies if you ask me. It sets up dramatic irony, which is often far too over-used in hollywood, in exchange for the feeling of endlessness that Katniss feels when entering the arena and trying to find water.
Moving on from there, unfortunately the rest is all downhill. With the artistic liberties taken with the movie, came the chop shop. chopping the original text so that it's pheasable within a 3 hour time span is understandable but they cut it into an irreparable mess that will make the last 3 movies very difficult to sell. The cuts include but are not limited to:
- All information regarding Tesserae which would have sufficiently explained why gales name was placed in the drawing 42 times.
- Madge does not exist at all. The largest point to wrap my head around as Madge and her family play a crucial role later in the series.
- Almost all of the violence was avoided to make it acceptable for a younger crowd.
- All of the heartless kissing was removed (i could care less about this one really. It added no motion to the plot at all)
- they abbreviated everything inside the games to a whopping 4 or 5 days whereas in the books it was a matter of weeks.
No mention of the Avox even though she becomes Katniss's silent counselor in some ways, No mention of the head peacekeeper which plays a crucial role in the second book. No mention of Madge or Peeta's Father, the tension between Katniss and her mother is non-existent, and as far as i can tell the Seneca Crane gets killed? That pretty much stops the other 3 movies dead in the water as his role is sitting very close to the core of the story.
Either way, don't waste your time with the movie. Waste of my money even though it will probably break the bank, it's really not worth it's 2 cents.