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The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

The Student News Site of Delaware Valley Regional High School

The Delphi

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What movie are you most excited for this winter?

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“The Hunger Games” series returns with new prequel

The+poster+for+the+thrilling+film+The+Ballad+of+Songbirds+and+Snakes.
Photo via Lionsgate Films
The poster for the thrilling film “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.”

On Nov. 17, 15 years after “The Hunger Games” hit shelves, the series has returned with a prequel movie: “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” with the same captivating feeling as the first four.

The movie takes place 64 years before the first book, focusing on the 10th annual Hunger Games. The story is a background to the original trilogy’s villain, Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), as he attempts to mentor a girl from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), to win her games. If he succeeds, Coriolanus will receive the Plinth Prize, which will give him the opportunity to pay for his university education.

As Coriolanus begins to grow closer to Lucy Gray, his feelings of dissatisfaction begin to blur into those of adoration. The mentor has to decide which comes first: his devotion to the capitol and his future or his love for Lucy Gray.

The film was directed by Francis Lawrence, the same filmmaker of the first four movies. The combination of Lawrence as the director and Suzanne Collins, the author of the books, as a the lead screenplay writer, are the essence of what made this series so successful and allowed it to transfer beautifully to the screen.

The movie is split into three parts: The Mentor, The Prize and The Peacekeeper. While the first two were thrilling to watch, the third lacked the same charm as its counterparts. It felt as though The Peacekeeper, in the book, relied heavily on characters’ inner monologue to portray its message, which was hard to convey within the film.

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Which was your favorite "Hunger Games" movie?

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Critics seemed to agree with this point as stated by the Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes: “…a worthy return to Panem in spite of a rushed and somewhat frustrating ending.”

The film may have received a critics score of 62% from the website, but this is clearly not a sentiment held by fans, as the movie achieved a 91% audience score.

“I felt epic watching it,” said junior Kiera White. “I was on the edge of my seat.”

Part of what made the film so enjoyable was that a viewer who read or watched the first series could compare events from this movie to how they may have adapted the country of Panem in the later movies.

The 10th games are the first in which gifts can be sent to tributes inside the arena. When Snow realizes how faulty these drones are, he sends gifts of glass water bottles to help strike Lucy Gray’s opponents in battle. This could explain why in the 64th Hunger Games sponsor gifts are sent down by parachute, a harmless delivery method.

Overall, this movie was a great addition to “The Hunger Games” universe. Blyth does a phenomenal job portraying the complexity of Snow’s character as he slowly begins to lose his morality. Additionally, the fake altruism that Snow is able to use to seem charismatic to the Capitol, Lucy Gray, his friends and his family was all written to feel truly believable.

Despite Zegler’s backlash for her behavior promoting previous films, her performance in “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” clearly shows why she is a Hollywood sensation. The actress was able to encapsulate the confidence and intelligence of Lucy Gray in addition to her vulnerability. Although, her character having a southern accent was slightly shocking.

This movie is a must watch for any “Hunger Games” fan or anyone looking for a good dystopian movie with great chemistry between its actors. It worked as a nice backstory for President Snow, and hopefully the success of the movie will inspire Collins to continue writing other extensions of “The Hunger Games” universe.

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About the Contributor
Gianna Roberts, Managing Editor
Gianna is a sophomore at Del Val and this is her second year working on "The Delphi," now as the Managing Editor. In her free time, Gianna enjoys reading, listening to music, especially Taylor Swift, and watching TV shows. She also loves spending time with her friends and family.
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