The book and the movie go hand in hand, complementing each other. The movie stays close to the events in the book, and as a reader, I was happy to see the actual story that I read and fell in love with on screen. Of course, not everything can be exact ~ details in a book are much more intimate than that in a movie ~ but I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn't constantly thinking, "that's not how that happened!." This movie will make people want to read the books just so they don't have to wait a year for the next movie to find out what happens next. (As they should...)
Jennifer Lawrence ~ nobody else could have played Katniss. She was incredible, awesome, perfect in this role ~ exactly how I imagined our heroine. In fact, all the actors chosen matched their characters to a t. Peeta, well, I was a little wishy washy about Josh Hutcherson, but he soon won me over as I watched. His relationship with Katniss was the biggest, and pretty much the only, deviation from the first book, although I can't say whether or not they will bring up the reality of Katniss's feelings in the second movie. We were able to witness Katniss's inner thoughts, doubts, and hesitations in the book. It's difficult to show that in a movie, so usually we only get what's on the surface.
My favorite aspect of the movie was the emotion I felt practically dripping off the screen. The acting was amazing and every moment had a physical presence ~ it was almost overwhelming. I knew what was going to happen, how events were going to unfold, but I still felt the sting behind my eyes and the breath stopping in my lungs at the portrayals of the fear, anger, terror, love, and courage that are the center of this story.
Happy Reading (or Viewing) Everyone :)
~ Keely ~