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The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

The Student News Site of Tenafly High School

The Echo

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

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes Theatrical release poster.
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The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes Theatrical release poster.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes, starring Tom Blyth (young president Snow) and Rachel Zegler (Lucy Gray Bird) was an atrocity. I am one of the biggest fans of the Jennifer Lawrence Hunger Games series, which is the reason why this movie really got my hopes up, and then brought them down.

This movie covers the early life of Coriolanus Snow, and the tragedies he faced in the war Between the Rebels and the capital of Panem. It shows how he and his cousin Tigris (Hunter Schafer) live in poverty, since their family fortune was invested in district 13 munitions, yet meanwhile he goes to one of the most prestigious private schools in the capital. I didn’t understand this part: how could he live in poverty yet still have the money to pay for a school, which I am sure is very costly?

Another thing that just confused me about the whole film is whether the audience is supposed to be sympathetic towards young Snow or are we still supposed to hate him? When I watched the trailer, I thought this was going to show us how Snow is a good person, and that he had a good reason for being so cruel in the future, but I soon came to the realization that I never liked Snow and I never will. In the start of the film, you can see his innocence, but for the majority of the movie you can slowly see him turn into the monster that he will be in the future. I was really looking forward to seeing a different side to Snow, but this movie disappointed me.

“What’s not funny is the attempt of this padded and plodding prequel, including its absurdly cumbersome title, to milk a franchise so relentlessly that you can practically hear it crying for mercy,” a review on ABC News said. I totally agree with every single word in this sentence. I only memorized the full title of this movie after two paragraphs of writing this article. People want a title that is fun, concise, and catchy—three things that this title is definitely NOT. Speaking of conciseness, people always say that time flies fast when you are having fun, but this movie felt like it was four hours when in reality it was two hours and 37 minutes.

One aspect I did enjoy about this film, nonetheless, is how due to the fact that the hunger games were a pretty new concept, the Capital people had doubts about the games. It’s nice to see some innocence shown by the people of the Capital. Unlike in the Jennifer Lawrence movies where the audience is meant to hate the people of the Capital because of their insensitivity towards the games. It was interesting to see how the Capital would be normal people, where in the earlier movie they are the complete opposite of the people of the districts. In the past movies, the people of the districts are modest and grateful for every good thing that happens in their life, and the people who live in the Capital are selfish, and dress ridiculously. In this movie, you can see that the only difference between the Capitol people and the people of the districts is money, but not their personalities. By the end of the movie, the person who came up with the games in the first place infers that he thinks that the hunger games are a horrible abomination when he bombs the arena, and we can only assume he killed himself out of shame for creating them.

Overall, I don’t hate this movie, yet I definitely wouldn’t watch it again or recommend that anyone else should. The movie ended with Snow receiving the fortune he was promised, and we also see him in one of (old) Snow’s most iconic outfits. The movie ends with a lot of mystery and unclear things, so for those who enjoyed the movie, I’d say it’s very likely that there would be a sequel to this movie, but if there is, I know for sure I will not be watching it.

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About the Contributor
Gili Shoval, Staff Writer
Gili Shoval ('27) is enrolled in Journalism this year, and she's excited to write for The Echo.