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The Eastern Echo Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Review: 'The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes' portrays the prequel of Coriolanus Snow

This intriguing prequel, which centers on the origins of future villain Coriolanus Snow, features a powerful but unusual chemistry between an ambitious Academy mentor (Tom Blyth) and a stubborn Hunger Games tribute (Rachel Zegler).

On Friday, Nov. 17th "The Hunger Games: the Song of Ballads and Snakes" featuring Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler, was entirely sold out in the Canton Emagine Theater. From the lines to purchase popcorn to the actual cinema, the entire space was crowded. There was excitement in the theaters when this movie came out. It displayed the number of fans of "The Hunger Games" novels by Suzanne Collins

The adaptation of Collins' novel features an intriguing premise about the origins of the Hunger Games and the transformation of young Snow (portrayed by Donald Sutherland in the previous films) into a dark side.

Synopsis:

In this film, Tom Blyth plays Coriolanus Snow, a young man who begins his journey in the Capitol in an attempt to lift his family out of poverty. He was Lucy Gray Baird's, portrayed by Rachel Zegler, mentor; she is from District 12, which is also where Katniss Everdeen is from. Lucy Gray has this amazing voice that the Capitol is in awe of and they donate to her for the Games because of it.

Lucy's survival won't be simple. The mentors' only job is to assist in the creation of quality television by crafting spectacles, not survivors. Snow wants Lucy Gray to come out on top and stay alive throughout the games. 

Highs:

The acting in the film was outstanding particularly when it came to Coriolanus Snow's transformation from an empathetic person to a cruel one. The movie portrayed Snow's transformation into the cold-blooded president he played in the earlier Hunger Games films. The anguish he felt from trying to help people while residing in the Capitol gradually faded. Blyth's performance, particularly in the scene where Lucy Gray left Coriolanus, was strong and captured the real feeling of turning evil.

Another high was Lucy Gray, the singing helped display her character's pain through each song she sang. Her character gives a reminder of Katniss because of the courage she gets through during the games. There is a song that she sings called “The Hanging Tree” which was from the previous "Hunger Games" movies. This added reminders of the other "Hunger Games" movies, it gives excitement for the fans.

The movie's special effects, which included an explosion in the arena prior to the games and snakes in a tank that dropped into the arena, were amazing. The movie gained importance from this particular explosion since it demonstrated how much Lucy Gray genuinely cared for Coriolanus. Snow did, at one point, truly care about someone but himself, as shown by the chemistry between these two characters. The soundtrack for this film was another highlight; it truly made the film come to life. It revealed the truth beneath a brave face and brought the characters' emotions to life.

Lows:

One of the film's low points was how little Snow's cousin Tigris, played by Hunter Schafer, was featured, even though the film had some of her encounters with her cousin. Throughout the entire film, she assisted Snow in working through his feelings, and more instances such as that should have occurred, particularly in the closing scenes.

At the film's conclusion, there was yet another low period that demonstrated how sometimes love isn't always enough. Snow has trouble with empathy throughout the movie, but in the end his affection for love for others disappears. Given his brutality in the previous "Hunger Games" films, this makes understandable, yet if love triumphed over all, he would still be the same young man from the start.

Verdict:

The true story of President Snow was depicted in this highly emotional film. This was a crucial film because it helped viewers comprehend the suffering this character endured. Yet, it doesn't lessen the resentment that the fans have for him in his capacity as President Snow.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Mariam Fakhreddine is a film and theater reviewer for The Eastern Echo. She has worked as a news and features reporter for The Echo for two years.