The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie is a must watch

I recommend that you watch The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a new movie that came out on November 13, 2023 based on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes novel by Suzanne Collins. This movie is a prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy– a series of four movies based on three books (the last book was separated and transformed into two movies)– and is set 64 years prior to the original series. It is a stand alone movie from the rest of the series. It earned over $44 million dollars on the first weekend according to the Washington Post.  

The Hunger Games original series is set in the dystopian world of Panem, where a wealthy Capitol city controls and exploits all of the other 12 poverty-stricken districts. Every year, tributes from each district are chosen out of a lottery to fight to the death as a form of entertainment from the Capitol citizens; these “Hunger Games,” moreover, serve as a reminder of the Capitol’s power after the districts’ attempted rebellion. 

I loved the way this prequel explores intense political and social structures, highlighting inequalities and propagandas that are similar to our modern world. The Capitol’s exploitation of the Districts reflect imbalances of power, allowing viewers to draw connections to real world issues like poverty and discrimination. 

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes movie is from the perspective of Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), the future president of Panem and antagonist in the original series, in his early life as a student in the Capitol’s prestigious Academy school. Snow is chosen to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), the female tribute from District 12, during the 10th annual Hunger Games. Initially, Snow participates in the games because, despite coming from a once wealthy family, he struggles with money because of the rebellion. Therefore, his initial interactions with Lucy Gray seem manipulative and cunning since Snow prioritizes his own career development. As the movie progresses, the two seem to build up a romantic relationship as Snow is fascinated by Lucy Gray’s singing and her charm. Ultimately, this movie explores the question, “what would you do for survival” as it dives into Snow’s internal conflicts. It is really interesting to see the plot develop and all of its twists and turns. Throughout the games, Snow gains Lucy Gray’s trust by giving her advice on how to stay alive. Viewers follow their complex relationship through their tensions, betrayals, and realizations. 

I thought that the acting and plot was really good, but the movie felt like it was too long in some parts and too short in others. While the movie is violent at times, I think that everyone should watch it because of its adventure and thrill. I would recommend this movie, giving it a 9/10, and I think it’s a great movie to watch with friends or during a study break.

Image Source: IMDb

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