Anyway, as the two sequels became available, I eagerly checked them out from our local library and devoured them. Though it is young adult fiction, the story asks more intellectual questions than one would expect: To what extent should the government control our lives? To what extent does the government need each state to thrive? Should you stand up for your values, though death will surely come to dissenters? Is it better to stay and fight (and more than likely die) or run and live? What sort of society are we really heading into? Is Collins' depiction of the future one that may come to pass? Is reality television currently pushing the limits? How far can it actually go before we call foul? And, on and on. Generally speaking, The Hunger Games trilogy was a great read.
The movie, on the other hand, did not live up to my expectations, having read the books. Other people have said the same (on facebook) and replies have, essentially, been that they need to lower their expectations. I think not. The Hunger Games movie seemed to be a lightweight attempt at capitalizing on the youthful fan base of the loyal readers. However, I beg to ask, what about those who had not already read the books? The movie seemed to be a very basic review of the storytelling, and even at that, it didn't add up. Critical details were missing or had been rewritten. The pulling together of the Districts to send Katniss bread from Rue's district, or Gale's insightful thoughts on the Hunger Games and the actions of the government of Panem, were completely missing for example. Perhaps these details were not as important to the overall story, but they added to the impact of the novel itself. In essence, the movie was a lot of fluff.
I expected that the two and a half hour film would leave moviegoers questioning the justice of the games, the authority of Panem's government, and the ultimate consequence of Katniss' actions during the games. I expected that the blood and gore wouldn't be passed over with a blur of the camera, but would be presented in such a way that the viewer comes to realize the ultimate injustice of it all. Don't get me wrong, I do cringe at gory movies. However, this one was a little too gentle, given the subject matter at hand.
Overall, the movie was a good way to pass the evening, but it left me searching for the meat of the tale. See it if you want pure entertainment, but don't expect it to live up to either the hype of the promoters or the expectations gleamed from the literary qualities of the book.