The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes Movie Review

Everett Collection

Brandon Clack, Staff Writer

If you grew up reading or watching The Hunger Games trilogy, you probably fell in love with Katniss Everdeen – The Girl on Fire. She singlehandedly defied her whole nation, while falling in love with the man, Peeta, she fought alongside. And as time progressed the series, Katniss formed an alliance with many victors, and other rebels, to take down President Snow, his Capitol, and the games that kept the institutionalized struggle of Panem citizens down. While the original movies may have been about this story coming to an end, as you guessed, the prelude, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is actually a completely different story about Katniss’ own antagonist, President Snow.

The new movie takes place 64 years before the first film, which was the 74th Hunger Games, meaning that this story is the 10th Hunger Games. It follows a young President Snow, who wasn’t President at the time. He was a young student at The Academy in the Capitol. He lived in poverty with his cousin, known as Tigris Snow (played by Euphoria actress, Hunter Schaffer), and his grandmother, after both of his parents were killed during the dark days. Almost immediately, the plot is completely different from the original trilogy, because we aren’t seeing the side of the people who are negatively affected by the Hunger Games, but by people who aren’t affected at all. We eventually meet all of his classmates, his Dean and creator of the Games (played by Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage), and the Head Gamemaker (played by the legendary actress Viola Davis), who instructs them that the top-performing Academy students would be mentors for these games, Snow being one of them. The students are there to help make the Games more worth watching. since the Games aren’t just a “form of punishment” but a form of entertainment for the people who aren’t a part of them. The students were incentivized that the best mentor would theoretically be the student whose tribute wins the game.

During the reaping ceremony, Snow is assigned to mentor the District 12 Female tribute (oh, the irony!), Lucy Gray Baird. Lucy Gray (played by Rachel Zegler) stands out immediately from the other tributes. She’s wearing a rainbow dress and she sings a song when she hits the state. While Snow’s peers judge her, he starts to have hope for himself and this tribute.

As time progresses, Snow contributes to the changes made to the original games, like implementing a new donation system so mentors can send their tribute things while in the game. Snow convinces Lucy Gray to keep singing, to earn herself donations. Lucy Gray eventually goes to the Games and has to fight for her life. However, due to her not being a fighter, she has to use her wits alongside her mentor to keep herself alive.

One of the key differences between this new film and the original The Hunger Games films is the main protagonists Katniss and Lucy Gray. Katniss was a fighter who was forced to perform, while Lucy Gray was a performer who was forced to fight. It’s revealed to the viewers that Lucy Gray was the one who wrote “The Hanging Tree”, which was a song sung by Katniss in the Mockingjay film. Snow even tells Katniss in Catching Fire, that she reminds him of a friend who he knew a very long ago.

This movie was brilliantly made, and the performances of the protagonists Lucy and Snow, and the antagonists like Dr. Volumnia Gaul were all phenomenal. This movie showed a villain origin story, almost similar to that of Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader: Someone who could’ve been on a good path but was steered down a bad direction through manipulation and outside forces disturbing a fragile mind. And while this movie doesn’t completely make you change your outlook on the future President Snow, you get an insight as to why he is the way he is, and why he treats Katniss badly in the later films.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes is playing in theaters now.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.