Songbirds and Snakes: A Ballad

Hunger Games Prequel “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Thrills Fans

By Margaret Rose Tipton Siytangco

It’s been nine years since we first heard those words on screen, and after all this time, we have another visit to the arena with the tributes. This time, however, in the Hunger Games Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, we see the world not as a tribute but as a mentor.

This is the prequel to the Hunger Games we all love. Set 64 years prior to the events of the first series, in the dystopian action-filled world of Panem; we see Coriolanus Snow not as the proud President but far from it. We see him as a student trying to survive in a post-war Capitol and how the Hunger Games became what we know it to be. Unlike the colorful world we know, full of lush and vibrant extravagance, District 1 is stark and desperately clinging to former glory.

Understandably, there was trepidation with the recent controversy surrounding Rachel Zegler, but that all flew out the window and was forgotten with her stellar performance as Lucy Gray Baird. She draws you in with her charm and emotions and will completely captivate you. You root for her immediately. But who will you root for more? Her or Coriolanus?

Coriolanus Snow is deftly played by Tom Blyth, who, with every blink and glint of an eye, conveys a wealth of emotion, giving you a glimpse into the workings of the brilliant mind of the young future President Snow. A different kind of thrill is felt with the character played by actress Viola Davis. Dr. Volumnia Gaul’s twisted madness came up with the monstrosities that made the Hunger Games so riveting. And you creepily lean forward or jerk back on sight of her creations. To see the beginnings of it all is a treat for fans.

This movie gives you so many people to hate, then punches you with understanding and compassion. Director Francis Lawrence is the genius behind the first Hunger Games trilogy, and he absolutely does not disappoint with this prequel. He stayed as true to the books as possible, and though the ending to this was a tad bit rushed, it will leave you with questions and a thirst for wanting more.

Suzanne Collins, author of this entire world, is a master storyteller, and it shows. From books to movies, her words ring true. She shows how human self-service and manipulation can warp or change your very character. Who is real?

I am a Hunger Games fan and this new movie does not disappoint. In fact, it will make you run to the stores to buy the book (if you haven’t already read it). It will leave you hungry. Aptly named Hunger Games, this ballad will keep you playing between Songbirds and Snakes.

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