(Spoiler-free, I promise!)
First things first, I hate seeing the film before I read the book. I’m not entirely sure why, but I think it’s because you invest more time in a book and therefore don’t want the plot twists ruined for you by a silly film. Or maybe I’m just a reading snob. Either way, I was extremely late to the party when it came to reading The Hunger Games, so by the time the film came out the book was still sitting, unread, on my shelf.
The film was OK. I enjoyed it, but I won’t be buying the DVD. For starters, it’s unnecessarily long. I really think a bit more pace would not only have made the film much more enjoyable, it was also have given me less time to guess at the plot twists. Despite the length of the film, there were several plot points that really weren't explained properly; for example, I didn’t fully understand why people from the Districts went along with the Hunger Games, and what purpose they served for the Capitol. There are other plot holes but I don’t want to include any spoilers so I’ll just have to rant about them to myself. Having said all that, though, the casting was good and I really did feel emotionally invested in the characters (especially Haymitch, I just love him). I also loved the concept, and left the cinema intrigued enough about it all to pick up the book as soon as I got home.
The book was much better (yeah, I’m a reading snob, get over it). For me, it had everything that was good about the film (brilliant concept, realistic, intriguing characters, powerful setting) and the positives that it had much more pace, the plot twists weren’t so obvious, and it cleared up all the frustrating plot holes that the film left gaping wide open. After reading the book I feel like I have a new understanding of the relationships between the characters, and between the districts and the Capitol. In some ways, I’m glad I saw the film first, because I think I would have been disappointed if I’d loved the books first and had been waiting to see the film.
Right, somebody get me part two. NOW.