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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

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The Student News Site of Jupiter Community High School

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Review: The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Shayna Lagos


The newest addition of the popular Hunger Games franchise, “Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” takes viewers back through the life of a young Coriolanus Snow, the franchise’s main antagonist and the one responsible for what the games ultimately become by the start of the original trilogy.  

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is based off of the 500 page spin-off novel written by Suzanne Collins delving more into Snow’s character and the complicated backstory behind the creation of the Hunger Games. 

The film shows Snow, portrayed by Tom Blyth, as a young man living in the capital of Panem following a violent and deadly civil war that left their country in ruins and his family with nothing. Desperate to save his once proud family from destitution, Snow becomes an arena mentor to female tribute Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, a strong-willed girl from District 12 known for her powerful voice and rebellious nature. 

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Fighting for their survival, the pair forge an unlikely and forbidden bond as they face life-threatening circumstances and betrayals both in and out of the arena, leaving them to question if anyone ever truly escapes the games.

The release of the newest film has caused a resurgence of popularity for the Hunger Games series in a way unseen since 2015 when the first movie of the series was released in theaters. 

“The first movies in The Hunger Games have a special place in my heart, as do all the rest,” Brinett Lopez, sophomore, said. “There were elements that made the new movie better than the previous ones, but overall the original ones are always the best.” 

Along with the previous popularity established, gross sales for the film skyrocketed upon release, coming to a grand total of over $100 million dollars in sales within the first 11 days of premiering. 

“The theaters were so crazy and everybody I knew was so hyped to go see it. I’m really not surprised the movie had so much success so quickly given the past success of the films,” Lopez said. 

The new film gives a cinematic experience like no other with plot twists and action packed scenes that took viewers by surprise, such as the fights in the arena. 

“The action scenes were done really well and they didn’t hide what makes The Hunger Games  truly The Hunger Games,” Lopez said. “It really shows the way the games take from your humanity and force you to survive.” 

The Hunger Games new film features music with similar tastes to the previous films, with a 50 minute long soundtrack and 17 versatile songs to go along with the film. One song in particular, “Can’t Catch Me Now” by Olivia Rodrigo has become a hit song from the film.  

“I loved the feature from Olivia. When I saw she was going to be included I was really excited she wrote a song for it,” Ava Christie, freshman, said. “The only thing I wish they would’ve done is include the song in the movie instead of just the end credits.” 

Zegler, the vocalist behind the new rendition of  “The Hanging Tree,” has added her own sound and taste to the musical masterpiece, helping to create a more serious and  powerful message to go along with the film. 

“The new music featured was honestly great and I think that Rachel Zegler did amazing in singing the new version of  “The Hanging Tree.” She sang everything live and it was a great way to know where “The Hanging Tree” song came from,” Lopez said. 

Although the film has riveting twists and turns and action packed scenes, the plot was left unfinished to a certain extent and the film would’ve benefited from more air time. With this extra time the mysterious love affair between Baird and Snow could’ve been expanded upon and the directors could have provided a more definitive end to Baird’s story.

With a confusing ending, the film left little room for a conclusion as to where Baird ended up after her tragic ending with Snow. Whether her life ended in the woods where Snow became violent is unknown to viewers. 

“I was happy with the ending and finally seeing the events that made Snow into who he was, but I think the film was a little confusing and left a lot of room for fan theories,” Lopez said. 

As a whole “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has become one of my favorite films. Although the film left room for interpretation, and left you guessing for the entirety of it, it truly let viewers understand the history of The Hunger Games and sets up the main trilogy. 

The action and cinematic experience overall made this movie something I believe everyone should have a chance to watch. Whether it be the action scenes, the storyline, the soundtrack or the actors, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a must watch.

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