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“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” becomes the number one movie in the world

A review of “The Hunger Games” prequel.
“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” movie poster. PC: IMDb

Starring Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth, “The Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has become the number one movie in the world. 

In 2020, author Suzanne Collins wrote the prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” Over the past three years, the novel has been adapted into a major motion picture and on Nov. 17, the film was released to the public.

Since its debut on the big screens, it’s taken over the feeds of many users of popular social networking platforms like TikTok and Letterboxd, becoming the highest ranking movie in the world today. This doesn’t go without reason. “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” belongs on the top of the charts. 

“I loved it,” freshman Julia Chadwell said.

Musical sensation Rachel Zegler and upcoming actor Tom Blyth banded together to bring the characters Lucy Gray Baird and Coriolanus Snow to life. Zegler worked the screen with serene grace and her stellar vocal performances rounded out her professional acting skills. As for Blyth, he fully immersed himself into the character of Coriolanus Snow. His generous behind the screen talents and fierce acting made for an accurate portrayal of an iconic villain origin story.

“I wasn’t looking at Tom Blyth,” Chadwell said. “I was looking at Coriolanus Snow.”

Legendary actors Peter Dinklage from “Game of Thrones” and Viola Davis from “The Help” were featured as lead roles in the film. Dinklage’s versatile acting abilities drew out the malice behind Dean Casca Highbottom, and Davis’ theatrical performances evoked the cryptic and cunning character of head gamemaker Dr. Gaul. 

Book accuracy was just as important to the cast and crew as it was to the fans. For previous readers, they went into the viewing with high expectations of  Collins’ impeccable storytelling. Considering slight differences from both versions of the story, the film met or surpassed expectations of past fans. 

As for first time consumers, they could’ve watched the movie and understood the whole story without ever reading the book. Corners weren’t cut and all storylines and plot devices helped to fully develop and finish the major plot points and ending. 

However, nothing is perfect and there were differences from the novel. Fans would have enjoyed a better portrayal of Lucy Gray and Coriolanus’ relationship. Some wished their relationship had more screen time to develop, and others wished they hadn’t made Snow’s true intentions murky.

Set design was canonically accurate and true to the original model. The arena was ruined and the foundation of the structure was exposed, as it was in the book. The movie does a great job at developing the Cornucopia, which is the structure where the tributes choose their weapons and take resources. The city of the Capitol was modest and seemed as if it were 2300’s version of the 1950s. 

Provided the title of the movie, the musical ensembles presented in the film were top notch. Original songs by Lucy Gray like “The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird” and “Nothing You Can Take From Me” have been on repeat on social media and music streaming platforms. The folk and bluegrass songs take charge of the scenes they are found in make you want to sing along. Soundtrack hit “Can’t Catch Me Now” by Olivia Rodrigo has been a smash hit with fans of both the series and the artist. Its resonant lyrics and catchy melody make it an unskippable song on the soundtrack. 

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a work of art. From the soulful acting performances by the film’s brightest stars, to the setting and immersive set design, this movie is one for the books. Will this movie cause concern for a dystopian comeback, or has it already done so?

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About the Contributor
Shelby Gomez
Shelby Gomez, Staff Writer
Shelby is a freshman and she is in her first year with Norse Notes. She enjoys playing guitar, reading, and listening to music. She loves her family, especially her pets, and enjoys spending time with her sisters. Shelby loves to stay active by engaging in sports like softball and volleyball. She loves to write about music and pop culture. 

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  • C

    CateJan 27, 2024 at 9:32 am

    This was SUCH a good movie!

  • P

    Peyton GomezDec 8, 2023 at 5:46 pm

    The article is PHENOMENAL! Shelby did an amazing job with this review. Suzanne Collins would be proud