So I finally saw the Hunger Games movies.

At least the first three. Mostly. (I’ll explain this in a second.) Needless to say: spoilers. Even for the last one, because spoilers for the last movie were what got me to watch the other three. I’m keeping it as vague as possible, but some people are incredibly good at deducing spoilers from really vague language, so fair warning.

All right, let’s go. Up until this past week/weekend, I’ve stayed away from the Hunger Games movies, because as much as I liked the books, I didn’t want to see a lot of this stuff on the big screen. (Still don’t. Fast-forwarded through some of the first movie, and half-closed my eyes during part of the third, hence the “mostly” in that first paragraph.) But then I read something about Effie and Haymitch–a deviation from the books that made me really curious. So I checked the movies out from the library, and watched them with the express purpose of seeing whether this change was justified, and also checking out the portrayal of some of the other characters. In particular, Peeta, because the responses I’ve seen have been underwhelmed by his character.

And having seen (most of) the movies now, I’m just… kind of neutral. Not about the big conflict at the heart of the series, but about the characters. I believe in the shock and horror of what’s happening–it’s easy to see why that would impact Katniss the way it does. So the situations are compelling. The characters, though… I suspect that with just the movies to watch, the most I would be able to say about the characters is that I like them, in a general acquaintance way that’s completely forgettable the moment the screen goes dark. (Or don’t like them, in an almost equally forgettable way.) Any deeper investment comes from the books.

I’m not saying that’s the movies’ fault–and definitely not saying that they’re bad movies. They have some good moments, and some pretty big challenges. For instance, most of why I liked Peeta, especially, came from things that maybe aren’t that epic/dramatic. That’s not exactly easy to put on film. Since I’m a character-driven person, though, I wasn’t going to love the films unless I loved at least one of the characters, and I didn’t. Not, at least, in their movie incarnations.

Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe my distance from the films is a product of having read the books–maybe something that made me connect to the characters in the books just didn’t translate on screen. Maybe the problem is that I’ve been kind of exhausted this past week, so the movies had a harder time roping me in. I don’t know. I would be interested in hearing, though, how other people felt about the characters, and what made them feel that way.

So, the short form: not rushing out to buy a ticket to Mockingjay, Part 2. Probably will check it out when it comes out on DVD, though.

Now off to do some writing, and not worry at all about whether my characters are likable. Sigh.