I am happy to say that they did. The film version of The Hunger Games is remarkable in its casting and script, its visual effects, and, quite simply, its mood. The experience of seeing the film was both wonderful and sad, because I have such emotional attachment to the series. I bought the first book on December 21, and Elizabeth called me the next day and told me that she had cancer. The books were a sort of refuge for me during that time.
You all know how I feel about the series. I think the books and the many messages to be taken from them are important. Very important. The story isn't original--it is a retelling of Theseus and the Minotaur story, after all, and other books with similar plots have been written--but it goes so much further than other stories. The depth and emotion is incredible. And, after all is said and done, I have come to respect the final novel, for I realize some of what it is doing now. But: this rant is only to say that I had high expectations of the movie, because it needs to convey that importance. I think that it succeeded, in general.
Anyway...the movie: There are differences between the book and the movie of course, but, in general, I don't have many criticisms.
As for what I loved:
1. Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. LOVE HER. I have since I saw her in Winter's Bone a couple of years ago.
2. The interactions between Katniss and her sister. Wow. I wasn't prepared for such strong acting from the little girl who played Prim. She was phenomenal. I had really prepared myself not to cry when Rue dies, but it was Prim who had me crying early on, esp. at the reaping. Her terror transferred off the screen in such an amazing way.
3. I really liked how we saw the "behind the scenes" computer manipulation of the games.
4. And last, but not least: I LOVED Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. I thought he was wonderful. My only question: Was it just me or was there some kind of serious chemistry between Jennifer and Lenny?? I mean, seriously. They commanded the screen when they were together. He is one of my favorite characters, and I don't know that it was intentional for them to seem so connected in any way that was romantic...but, wow...I really sensed something.
The few complaints that I do have are as follows:
1. In the book, I never forgot that children were killing children. In the movie, I started to forget this a bit. I don't really know why, but maybe it was just that these "children" seemed so grown up.
2. I didn't think that the movie explained the reaping very well or why Gale had placed his name in the mix more than once.
3. I didn't like that--at least in my opinion--it came off that Kat started to trust Peeta so much and so early on.
Obviously, the experience of reading the book allows us to get inside Kat's mind much more, but those were my only complaints.
So, I encourage everyone to go see the movie. It is wonderful! And, if you haven't read the books, GO TO YOUR BOOKSTORE OR LIBRARY NOW. You must read them!!!