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The Flash

The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The student news site of Fraser High School

The Flash

The franchise resumes: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie review


The newest instillment into the Hunger Games franchise, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes directed by Francis Lawrence was a prequel that gave incredible insight to the beginning of the Hunger Games. Lawrence brought the same energy and film techniques to plate that he did in the original Hunger Games franchise. Hunger Games fans around the globe are thrilled to see the adaptation come to the big screen.

The movie dives into the beginning of the Hunger Games, which the original series did not have the ability to project. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) and everything that set him up to become the president of Panem. The songbird of the film is the spirited Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zengler) who Snow has to mentor for the 10th annual Hunger Games. Snow and Gray develop a relationship throughout the games, leading the way for some interesting twists throughout the plot. Snow starts off as a poor kid looking for reconciliation, defying the system, only for the system to get into his head.

This movie was a thrilling combination of action, lust, betrayal, and revelations. Watching the origin of the Hunger Games unfold before your eyes is a crazed feeling, I never thought I would have experienced. For Hunger Games fans, this movie is an incredible watch, with slight references to the original series that only fans would pick up on. For people who have not seen the series, the movie is still intriguing and would only make them be more interested in the Hunger Games series. Because it is a prequel, the movie is obviously set before Katniss and Peeta were ever born and I thought the way they achieved the nostalgic feeling for a dystopian movie was outstanding. The sets, outfits, and language used depict the actual past during the eras of the World War’s mixing it with the dystopian technology and architecture to make it seem like the movie was truly something of the past.

Rachel Zengler and Tom Blyth at the London screening Photo credits: Jeff Spicer/ Getty Images for Lionsgate UK

One performance that really stood out to me was Tom Blyth’s portrayal of Snow. I thought he did an excellent job with Snow’s complex nature. The character had a tough past and upbringing, which the movie follows, and Blyth nailed it when it came to personifying Snow to real life. Rachel Zengler did sing throughout the movie with the songs reflecting the scene. She added so much to the essence of the film.

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Also, while the movie is decently long, being a solid 2 hours and 38 minutes, the pacing is very good. The movie is spilt up into 3 parts which focuses the audience in on what is happening. Another stand out, like mentioned earlier, was the references to the original movies. Sprinkled throughout the film, being a fan prior to The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, it was exciting to see all of the references. Obviously, people who have not seen or read the books previously will not understand the references, but it will not affect their understanding of the plot because the references are very subtle.

A final aspect of the movie that stood out to me was that the film was more intense than the original movies. The movie took a darker approach, which emphasizes that it was truly the start of a negative situation. The scenes where the Hunger Games actually take place were openly more violent than the other films. That aspect could be uncomfortable for certain audiences, but for me added to the gut-wrenching tone of the film.

Overall, I would rate this movie a 4.5 out of 5. This movie was an excellent prequel to the original series and created a new understanding of the world of Panem. From the acting to the cinematography to the plot, the movie allotted for anyone watching to be immersed in the film, feeling every aspect of the story.

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