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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The movie adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a perfect tie to the original Hunger Games trilogy

The movie poster for The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, which was released on Nov. 17.

I was in seventh grade when I first became obsessed with The Hunger Games.

I read the trilogy within a couple of months—which, for me, was incredibly fast. I watched the movies over and over, and, as any middle schooler with an obsession with The Hunger Games, made a Pinterest board filled with dramatic pictures and quotes from the movies.

In May of 2020, my obsession was fueled once again when the genius Suzanne Collins published a prequel to the trilogy: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I immediately bought the book and happily soaked up every ounce of Coriolanus Snow’s youth. The book was so interesting and had so many ties to the original trilogy that takes place 64 years later.

Even then, I had a strong feeling that there was going to be a movie adaptation of the prequel. There had to be. And, lucky for me, I was correct, and on Nov. 17, the movie adaptation of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released to everyone in theaters. 

Going into the theater, I was definitely excited. The marketing for the film was incredible, and all of the trailers gave me high hopes. While I had a feeling that the movie was going to be good, I did not expect to be blown away by how perfect it was.

The story, for those who haven’t read the novel, follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) who ends up as the president of Panem in the original trilogy. Snow is the mentor for Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) in the 10th Annual Hunger Games. The two grow closer than was intended, which leads to unfortunate consequences after the games.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a perfect way to tie a little bow around the whole Hunger Games series

There were many aspects of the film that made it so incredible. First of all, the casting was perfect. Blyth portrayed Snow almost identically to how he was in the novel. It was difficult to show how evil Snow was from the very beginning, especially since the movie didn’t contain his inner dialogue like the book did. However, Blyth was perfectly able to show that shift where he truly goes mad. Along with that, Zegler was the best choice for Lucy Gray. Her character is a very eccentric girl with a beautiful singing voice. Zegler was perfectly able to embody that persona. Zegler also is an eloquent singer, and the songs that Lucy Gray sang in the novel were amplified simply with the help of her voice.

The rest of the tributes were cast amazingly, as well. The tribute from District 11, Reaper Ballad (Dimitri Abold), was one of my personal favorites, as his actions throughout the games were chilling. Along with that, the host of The Hunger Games Lucky Flickerman (Jason Schwartzman) was incredible. He was the comedic relief of the film, and his commentary had me laughing out loud in the theater. 

Of course, it was not only the casting that made the movie so great but the cinematography and soundtrack as well. Everything in the capital looked brighter than views of the districts and the arena. This, I believe, is a dig at how the capital is superior to the rest of Panem and everyone who lives in the districts. Along with that, the costumes people wore were perfect. The capital outfits were not yet as flamboyant as they were 64 years later, but the clothing of those who live in the districts is almost identical to what they wore in the original trilogy. 

Along with all of this, the soundtrack of the entire movie was perfect. I have already touched a little bit about the songs that Zelger sings, but the instrumental music in the background of the scenes was incredible. It enhances the intensity of the movie, and I absolutely lost it when the instrumentals had a tie to the original Hunger Games soundtrack. Every aspect of this movie was perfect, and tied together made a masterpiece.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a perfect way to tie a little bow around the whole Hunger Games series. It tied many loose ends together and even made me have a small sense of sympathy toward Snow. I would even go as far as to say that the movie is better than the book, which is something I have never said before. This movie is pure perfection; I am glad I have yet something else to fuel my obsession with the best books and movies to have ever been made.

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About the Contributor
Sofia Hargis-Acevedo
Sofia Hargis-Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief
Sofia is a senior entering her fourth and final year writing for The Central Trend. She has grown up a writer and cannot picture herself as anything but. Along with writing, she keeps herself busy by dancing. She has been leaping across the stage since the ripe age of two, and she is currently on the FHCVDT. For Sofia, endings are bittersweet. And as she approaches her final moments walking the halls of FHC, she will try her hardest to leave her legacy within the words she writes—the words that contain her heart. Her favorite book: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller Her go-to dessert: a piping hot brownie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream Her favorite season: Fall, without a doubt fall Has she gotten over her fear of birds after three years? Nope!

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  • M

    MarkNov 29, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    I could not agree more! When I first heard about this movie I thought to myself “I really liked the previous hunger games movies so this one is probably going to be decent.” but I was not ready for this pure masterpiece of a movie. I was so moved by everything in it that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I eventually read the entire book within a week after seeing the movie and I fell deeper into my obsession. It is now probably my favorite movie as well and favorite book of all time.