First things first, I read the second two books in 48 hours. Literally devoured those words. Consequently, I was on the edge of my seat for this movie. I knew I shouldn't expect Hollywood to accurately portray the scenes the way I saw them in my mind, but I had high hopes.
I saw the premiere in New York City. Quick moment of silence for how bad-a** that is, please. I have never seen such a line in my life. The entire block was wrapped in people. And when I say entire block, I mean ALL four corners. The line was even longer than the line at Shake Shack (I have a horrible first world problem: I now want Shake Shack for every single meal. NYC ruined me.) and that's saying something, I thought I'd never get that promised burger.
I clutched Hannah's hand as the movie began, unable to contain my excitement. But as the plot unfurled, I became increasingly disappointed. Key points from the novel were left out. The mockingjay pin was actually given to Katniss by a casual acquaintance, showing how much she was cared for and respected for volunteering in place of Prim, instead of picked up at the Black Market like the movie suggested. Which wouldn't be such a big deal, except for the absolute ludicrous connotations the pin picked up when Katniss passed the pin onto Prim on the day of the Reaping for "good luck." Clearly, that worked out well for her. So well, in fact, that Prim found it wise to regift the pin to Katniss before she left for the Capitol. In what universe does that make sense? District 12 apparently.
My next complaint, characterization. I need to know why Cato was so darn attractive. Next to Rue, his death was the most upsetting. Such a pretty face marred by such a savage end. In the books, I am Team Peeta completely. But I was thrown when Liam Hemsworth appeared as Gale. Get at me, Gale. He seemed so much more real, so much more in love with Katniss than Peeta was, or was supposed to be. I was never convinced of Peeta's feelings for Katniss. He was not believable in his declarations of adoration, and to be honest, it pissed me off; I was so looking forward to watching that romance unfold. But Peeta's poor performance doused that wish.
Katniss spends the first part of her time in the arena in the book dazed and dehydrated, desperately seeking water. In the film, she instantly splashed into a stream after running only a few miles. How convenient. The riot in District 11 upon Rue's death? Looked suspiciously like book two, let's save it for that movie. Seneca Crane being banished to a locked room supplied with nightlock berries? Peeta not being on the verge of death at the finale of the games? And what was with those muscles on the boys? Everyone was looking much better fed than they should be. And I didn't see as much imagination in the costumes as I was expecting.
However, I did enjoy most of the movie. The setting was perfect, I didn't mind looking at Gale for 3 hours, and my excitement carried the movie when it disappointed me.
Counting the days til the second movie comes out; I'll be A Very Lucky Girl.