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REVIEW: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the Newest Addition to the Hunger Games Legacy

By Kathryn Taleporos | November 27, 2023


“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Logo

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons


Legendary author of “The Hunger Games” trilogy, Suzzanne Collins released the newest installment to the series in May 2020. The book’s success led to the adaptation of the book into the blockbuster movie. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a stunning political commentary intertwined with romance and suspense.


The movie is a prequel to the rest of “The Hunger Games” which follows protagonist Katniss Everdeen as she leads a rebellion against the Capitol, the center of government in the fictional country Panem. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” takes place 64 years before and follows 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow, who later becomes president in “The Hunger Games”


In this dystopian world, the fictional country of Panem is divided into 12 districts and the Capitol. After the districts rebelled against the Capitol in a civil war their punishment became the Hunger Games where two tributes from each district are put into an arena to fight to the death, until one victor is left.


The Hunger Games itself is a political commentary that perfectly encapsulates the flaws of human beings, and the dangers that we face that could lead us into a dystopian society such as the one depicted in the movies.


From using hunger as a weapon, to punishment to remind innocent people of past mistakes, the dystopian society is not far enough away from reality as it should be.


Besides the thought-provoking commentary, the movie itself was beautiful. The casting was perfect, Rachel Zegler portrayed the character Lucy Gray Baird, the winner of the 10th Hunger Games, and Snow’s love interest. Zegler played the character exactly how she was described in the book, and her acting skills made the movie top-tier.


Another showcase of acting talents was actor Tom Blyth’s performance as Coriolanous Snow. Snow is a psychopath, he transformed the Hunger Games from being just 24 people from the districts being murdered, into a show that people in the Capitol wanted to watch. He orchestrated the deaths of many and became increasingly paranoid as the series progressed. However, he was difficult to hate during the movie. Blyth’s stunning good looks may have contributed to this, but especially at the beginning of the movie Blyth gave Snow a sense of humanity that made it hard to see him as the cruel person that he is.


The only drawback in the movie was the amount of violence and gore. The scenes of violence seemed more intense than the other Hunger Games movies, and there was more violence in this movie. The movie is rated PG-13 but there were many intense scenes.


However, some of the violence was counteracted by the character Lucky Flickerman. Flickerman was the host of the Hunger Games and had many interjections of comedic relief that balanced some of the violence.


Overall, the movie was a win. The acting combined with the story line kept the legacy of this iconic series.


You can see “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” at Regal Cinemas at Crossgates Mall.

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