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Snow Lands on Top

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” finally hit the theaters on November 17, an adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ captivating prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy. Francis Lawrence, the director of the original three movies, takes the audience on a gripping journey into the origins of the Hunger Games, offering a fresh perspective on the dystopian world of Panem. The film dives into the complex character of Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth. Set against the backdrop of the 10th Hunger Games, the story explores Snow’s early years and the societal shifts that paved the way for the brutal games that would define Panem’s future.

Actors Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth pose for the cover of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes. (Victoria Chow)

Young Coriolanus Snow is initially presented as a charming but ambitious student at the prestigious Capital Academy. He is assigned as a mentor to District 12’s tribute, the enigmatic Lucy Gray Baird, portrayed by Rachel Zegler, in the 10th annual Hunger Games. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Hunger Games, the basic premise is that two tributes from each district of Panem are chosen each year to fight to the death in an arena where there can only be one survivor. Unlike his fellow classmates, Snow develops a close bond with his tribute. Fueled by both the desire to save her, and to push himself ahead in the Capital, Snow will stop at nothing to get her out alive. 

Francis Lawrence brings a dark and atmospheric touch to the film, showing the harsh realities of the games. This is in stark contrast to the other movies which are significantly less graphic. This further demonstrates the capital’s developing skewed perspective on the games and how they later become a spectacle. 

The performances were exceptional, with Tom Blyth delivering a nuanced portrayal of the complex character of Coriolanus Snow. Rachel Zegler likewise gave a wonderful performance, but her voice is what really set her apart. The folk and country inspired songs included “The Ballad of Lucy Gray,” as well as “Pure as Driven Snow.” Olivia Rodrigo also has a song in the movie called “Can’t Catch Me Now,” which is definitely worth a listen. 

Early reviews of praise for “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” convey its thought-provoking narrative; it has already received more than $200 million in box office earnings worldwide and is predicted to soon reach $400 million. Die-hard fans of the Hunger Games series have flooded social media with praise for the film. Many appreciate the exploration of Coriolanus Snow’s character and the opportunity to witness the events that set the stage for the beloved trilogy. Memes, fan theories, and discussions about the movie’s twists and turns have taken over online spaces, cementing “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” as a must-see for fans and newcomers alike. 

Senior Abi Mitchel said, “I liked the movie. I think it really shed light on the third book in the Hunger Games and it was interesting to learn some of the background.”

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Hunger Games franchise. With its compelling narrative, exceptional performances, and stunning visuals, the film offers a fresh perspective on the dystopian world of Panem, leaving audiences eager for more cinematic journeys into Collins’ rich and complex world.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Caldow
Kaitlyn Caldow, Staff Writer
Kaitlyn is in 12th grade at San Marcos High School. This is her first year as a staff writer on the Kings Page. She enjoys running, reading, travel and going to the beach. Her favorite school subjects are English and History. She loves spending time with her friends.
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