In my last post I told you how I had begun reading The Hunger Games, after my son Nico became borderline obsessed with the series. Call me an enabler, but I took him and a few friends to see the movie at midnight. I am pretty sure the last time I went to a movie theater at midnight was when I was in high school and I went with my theater geek friends to see Rocky Horror Picture Show. I did not think I would last through the two hour and twenty minute film, but I did it, and I didn’t even need coffee. This may be due, in part, to the chocolate covered Dibs, buttered popcorn and Diet Coke, I consumed throughout the adrenaline charged, action packed movie.
But, before I could bring myself to watch the movie, I vowed to finish the book. On Wednesday, I had over 100 pages to go and I became concerned I wouldn’t make it. Granted, it’s youth fiction, so it’s not a difficult read, it’s just that I do have a full-time job, four kids, and a house to run, so when I finally sit down to read any book, I am usually asleep after two pages. This was different. Late Wednesday night I started reading again, and stayed up well past midnight. I could have read longer, but forced myself to stop in the middle of the action and go to sleep. I took the book with me to Nico’s baseball game, read between innings and managed to read enough of the book to feel good about seeing the movie without spoiling the book. Whew!
After Nico’s ball game, we went to the mall to buy him a Hunger Games shirt. His friend Dylan gave him a Hunger Games pin and they all planned on wearing their shirts and pins to the movie. I picked his friends up at an hour I would normally be going to bed, but honestly, with all the anticipation in the air, I would have not been able to sleep anyway. On the drive to the theater I warned the kids, who had all read the trilogy, that they were under strict orders not to discuss the second and third book. I threatened to stop the car and make them walk if ANYONE spoiled the story for me, since I fully intend to read, book two, Girl on Fire, and book three, Mockingjay. They complied and we all made it to the theater. When we arrived it was after 11:0 pm and the theater was mobbed. We are lucky to have an Arclight movie theater in our town, which requires you to reserve seats in advance. Normally, I would not spend $13 for a movie ticket, but knowing this was going to be a sold out movie and we would have reserved seats, I didn’t care about the steep price.
I was glad the kids wore their Hunger Games shirts to get into the spirit of things. But, even their enthusiasm for the movie didn’t equal the enthusiasm of the group of kids dressed as tracker jackers (genetically engineered bees), the young man dressed as Effie Trinket, and the countless girls I saw with braided hair, channeling Prim and Katniss.
We all purchased enough snacks to feed the entire District 12 population and settled into our seats, a full 30 minutes early. That was fine though, because I brought my book and finished all but 5 pages before the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered. For the next two hours we were all transported to Panem and the arena. The movie did a nice job providing background through Katniss flashbacks into the death of her father, the beginnings of the distant relationship with her mother, and young Peeta’s kindness towards Katniss. The film’s gritty quality of the District 12 costumes, set design and cinematography and The Reaping were a sharp contrast to the bright Lady Gaga couture and decedent life in The Capitol. The movie did a good job of delving into Katniss’ motivations, and even humanized Haymtich for me. Still, it could not portray these characters as well as Suzanne Collins did in her book. I am really glad I finished the book before I saw the movie, since it gave me an insight into Katniss, Peeta and Rue that I might otherwise not have had. I asked Nico how he liked the movie, and he told me he really enjoyed it, but he still thought the books were better. Coming from a 13 year-old who doesn’t love to read, that’s high praise!!
We got home about 3:30. In the morning. Today, I feel groggy from all of it, but I am glad I went to see the movie. Seeing it with my teens in a packed movie theater, at midnight, really made it a fun experience. When I woke up this morning I stayed in bed to read the last 10 pages of Book One. I could hear Nico in the kitchen so I decided to get out of bed. I opened my bedroom door, I looked down and saw this.
Thanks Nico! I guess I know what I will be doing this weekend.
Have you read any of the books? Are you going to see the movie? What did you think of them?