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East Side News

REVIEW: Songbirds and snakes stuns with a satisfying prequel

Daniella Torres
The film features symbols such as flowers of primrose and katniss along with a mockingjay and snake.

The odds are gambled once more in a decades late, and long-awaited, captivating prequel. On Nov 17, 2023, young President Snow made his debut, the Hunger Games were revolutionized, and history was made in a battle for the Plinth Prize of Hollywood.

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” follows the story of President Snow and the origins of a beloved trilogy. It opens with an intense scene involving Tigress (Hunter Schafer) and Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) during the Dark Days, which fans of the Hunger Games are sure to recognize. Scavenging to survive, the plot is set into motion.

In an action-packed 2 hours and 38 minutes, audiences are taken on a journey through Panem. Actors who truly breathed life into their characters brought connection through the screen; “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” is an immersive experience – a way for long-time fans to revisit an old favorite.

Besides its mastery of pathos, the film was the epitome of meticulous production. Attention to detail was demonstrated in hidden allusions; Lucy Gray’s (Rachel Zegler) dress is adorned with flowers of Primrose and Katniss – sound familiar? Hints and details for the audience ensured consistency, satisfyingly tying together the story of the Hunger Games.

Alongside entertainment factors, great technical professionalism is displayed. Audiences are given unique perspectives through gripping camera angles plus quality of enticing storytelling and plot advancement.

Additionally, the film featured fascinating vocals by Rachel Zegler in her rendition of the notorious anthem “The Hanging Tree” and Olivia Rodrigo in her single “Can’t Catch Me Now”.

Producer Francis Lawrence has truly outdone himself.

Even so, it was unable to please those with pretentious taste. Stephanie Zacharek of “TIME Magazine” calls it a “real dystopian bummer”; Lauren Coates of the “Chicago Reader” focuses on the film’s busy nature. However, its jam-packed plot is what makes it thrillingly engaging. It is elegantly advanced, making the film powerful and imaginative.

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” entered the arena with compelling storylines, expert techniques, and proficient leads. It emerged victorious, as the odds were ever in its favor.

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About the Contributor
Daniella Torres, Staff Writer
Hola, my name is Daniella Torres, I am a Junior and this is my second year working with East Side News. I like writing and reading poetry, dancing, and listening to music. I'm very excited to be a part of the newspaper another year, hope you enjoy!

Comments (2)

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  • M

    Ms. R.Dec 13, 2023 at 1:53 pm

    Would you recommend you know about the series before you watch the movie? Did you need to read the book prior to watching the movie?

    • D

      Daniella TorresDec 15, 2023 at 11:13 am

      I’d say it’s definitely helpful to have some prior knowledge before seeing the movie, but not necessary! The action of the movie makes it enjoyable in itself, even to people who don’t know a lot about The Hunger Games. I’d reccomend for a more fun viewing experience, maybe watch at least the first movie. If not, a quick google synopsis of the series is enough to get you through