I finally got around to reading the first book in this trilogy earlier this year, in good time for seeing this eagerly awaited adaptation.

I’ve said all I wanted to say about the book in my review here, so this is mostly about the film adaptation and how I thought it worked. And I did think it worked – I’m not sure you can say that it’s an enjoyable experience watching children try to kill each other but it was extremely well made and gripping even if you knew how it was going to turn out (which clearly most of the audience at my screening did.)

So, the film stuck reasonably closely to the book, with some stuff as always cut out to keep the narrative flowing and a few additional scenes as explanation for some of the stuff which I presume we find out about in book two (which is on my tbr pile but I haven’t got to it yet. I though the casting was very good; it could have been really easy to have the actors be far too old for the roles but a good balance was struck, especially with Katniss and Peeta who both perhaps pushed it to the edge but still got away with being teenagers. I particularly enjoyed Lenny Kravitz and Woody Harrelson’s performances and Donald Sutherland has been a hero of mine for many years so is always a joy to watch.

I thought the violence was pretty restrained given the subject matter but still managed to give the clear impression that these kids were really in danger, were really going to die. I thought they reined in some of the horror towards the end a little too much for my taste but it was probably right for the target audience which, lets face it, wasn’t me.

The Book God came to this completely cold but enjoyed it as much as I did. I’m looking forward to (reading and) seeing what the film-makers do with the sequel.