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The Hunger Games: the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes — a Film Review

Pop Culture

December 21, 2023

Ever since the iconic movies The Hunger Games came out, they have been a hit at the box office with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire making the most at 865 million dollars, and there have been over 100 million Suzanne Collins books sold worldwide. The books sold so well. After all, Collins was able to captivate the audience because everyone wanted to know what happened next.

Of course, the character Coriolanus Snow, the president of all Panem, was seen to have a special hatred for Katniss before he was killed. In the newly released movie of (book-to-screen adaption) The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the audience gets to see what Coriolanus Snow's life was like before he became president and the 10th annual Hunger Games.

Since I am one of the biggest fans of Suzanne Collins's work with The Hunger Games, I will review the movie. (Any reviews in this article are completely personal, and the readers are encouraged to develop their own opinions about it.) In this, you will find:

  1. Summary of the movie.
  2. My numerical review from a scale of 1-10 and why.
  3. Anything different from the movies to the books.
  4. Things that this movie relates to the first trilogy.
  5. My reviews of the soundtracks.

This movie review will contain spoilers and will reference the book multiple times, so I suggest you read the book before looking at this review so you can understand what it is about. Read at your own risk.

Summary

After the war of Capital vs. the Districts, the Capital won and sentenced the Districts to each send two kids (a boy and a girl) from the ages of 12-18 to fight to the death to entertain the Capital. This morning, they will begin the reaping of the 10th annual Hunger Games. Eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow has earned a spot on the mentoring list for the tributes in hopes of getting the Plinth Prize so he can go to University since the House of Snow fell during the war.

But, the odds are against his favor when he is chosen to mentor the District 12's girl. Now, every choice he makes will affect both him and the girl. Coriolanus begins to try to connect with his tribute for her to get more sponsors, but along the way, develops feelings for her. He must now choose whether to follow the rules or do anything to survive.

Rating: 10/10

I loved this movie because it showed us what happened before Coriolanus became president. This movie draws the audience in and ends with a sharp plot twist. Even with the knowledge of the trilogy, this movie makes you think that Coriolanus was a good person who just took a wrong turn along the way.

Full of exciting spooks and spectacular plotting, the film will entrance your mind. This was a great movie.

Book vs. Movie

The book had more detail of everything he was thinking than the movie, but the movie gave more excitement. In the book, there were more scenes of Coriolanus with Lucy Gray in the zoo than in the movie, and they had a funeral service for Arachne Crane when she was stabbed by her tribute. The movie had more of Lucy Gray being friends with Jessup and giving more focus on him in the tunnels. There was also a difference with which tribute died before who.

Some similarities were how he got sent to 12 so they could be together, and how he helped Lucy Gray with the compact and the handkerchief. Also, he was able to get Sejanus out of the arena when he went back in there.

Relations with the Trilogy

There are so many different parallels with the trilogy, but I am just going to name a few for time's sake.

One of the biggest relations to the trilogy was when the movie says that Lucy Gray named the plant Katniss, and the main character of the trilogy is Katniss. More on that later. Lucy Gray also created the song “The Hanging Tree”, which was taught to Katniss by her father.

The house in the woods was shown in the first three trilogy, and in this movie, it was shown that Lucy Gray was the one who found the house. So, this means that President Snow knows about it.

Soundtrack Review

Everyone has been going crazy over the new song “Can't Catch Me Now” by the iconic pop star Olivia Rodrigo, and she performed this song onstage at Madison Square Garden for the IHeartRadio Jingle Ball. This song represents how even though she might be hunted, she will never fall and can't be caught.

But, the other songs in the soundtrack were awesome as well.

The song “Nothing You Can Take From Me” by Rachel Zegler was also a big hit during the movie. This song can also be found in the book sung by Lucy Gray. She uses this song to show that even if the peacekeepers and Panem try to take away everything she has, they can't take away anything that matters to her.

The “Hanging Tree” by Rachel Zegler was also a big hit since it relates to the original trilogy since it was one of the main songs that Katniss sings. This song is about a man who has been hung asking his lover to run, but in the end was made clear that he wanted her to also be hung up beside him. Since Lucy Gray sang this song to Coriolanus Snow before she “died”, he hates this song with all his heart.

All the songs on this soundtrack are well picked out, and they have the vibe needed for the new Hunger Games movie.

When the first trilogy ended, people were hoping for more since the Games were so sensational and exciting (I know I was hoping for more!) This movie explained a lot of the before and how Coriolanus was a part of the Games himself. It also explains a lot about his deep hatred for the districts and his love for roses. This was an out-of-this-world movie and one of Suzanne Collins's best works.

If you haven't yet seen it, I suggest you do. Prepare to have your minds blown!

Faith Jackson
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Writer since Sep, 2023 · 4 published articles

Faith is a student in high school. In her free time, you can find her reading, playing her instruments, watching TV, baking, or making people laugh.

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