The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Breaking News
  • April 22Girls varsity lacrosse at Carl Sandburg High School
  • April 22Class of 2024 Prom on April 27
  • April 22CLEAR Workshop on April 26
  • April 22Jazz concert on April 24
  • April 22Cap and gown delivery on April 23
  • April 22Senior awards night on April 25
  • April 15Musical at DGS on April 18, 19, & 20th
  • April 15DGS Principal-Parent Partnership on April 17
  • April 15Culture Week Food Trucks on April 16
  • April 8Mustang Trot on April 14
The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ slithers to success

Maya Homberg
The new “Hunger Games” movie was released on Friday, Nov. 17.

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” was released on Friday, Nov. 17, and was an instant hit among viewers. As a fan of dystopian novels, specifically “The Hunger Games” franchise, I feel more than qualified to review the newest addition to the series.

I was pleasantly surprised by the acting. Although the cast was filled with big names such as Peter Dinklage (Casca Highbottom), Viola Davis (Dr. Volumnia Gaul) and Hunter Schafer (Tigris Snow), I had never heard of either of the two leads. Both Rachel Zegler (Lucy Gray Baird) and Tom Blyth (President Snow) did a fantastic job of portraying their characters.

The movie is a prequel to the original “Hunger Games” novels and tells the origin story of the main antagonist in those books, Coriolanus Snow. The movie follows the relationship between Snow and District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird after Snow is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray in the 10th annual Hunger Games.

Snow’s family is in desperate need of money, and Snow needs to help Lucy Gray win the games in order to win a scholarship to university. Snow’s morals are tested time and time again as he does whatever it takes to help Lucy Gray. The movie follows Snow and Lucy Gray as they fight to stay alive, in and out of the arena.

The movie follows the relationship between tribute Lucy Gray Baird and her mentor, Coriolanus Snow. (Maya Homberg)

Throughout the movie, Snow is faced with several challenges that test his loyalty to the Capitol as well as his relationships with Lucy Gray and his close friend Sejanus Plinth. He teeters on the edge of good and evil, trying to save himself, love Lucy Gray and remain obedient to the Capitol.

It was difficult to decide whether I loved or hated Snow. I started the movie knowing that he was a bad guy and did terrible things in “The Hunger Games” books, but as he and Lucy Gray fell in love, it was hard for me to continue to hate him. The movie did a fantastic job of making viewers love the man and then flipping a switch at the end as Snow made his final choices.

His villain arc was very well done, giving the perfect backstory to Katniss Everdeen’s biggest rival. There were several nods to the original series, including the mention of the plant katniss and the song “The Hanging Tree,” which viewers now know was originally written by Lucy Gray. The parallels between “The Hunger Games” and this movie helped show why Snow particularly hated Katniss – because she reminded him so much of his first love and the woman who escaped him: Lucy Gray.

After all of the action, the ending did not disappoint, leaving viewers wanting to know more. A quote from the original “Hunger Games” movies by older President Snow echoes through the theater, leaving viewers with a final message: “It’s the things we love most that destroy us.”

I have also read the book, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” and was happy to find that the movie closely followed it. Author Suzanne Collins was a producer on this movie, so it makes sense that the script was very similar to the novel.

I will say, I would recommend reading the books or watching “The Hunger Games” movies before watching this one, as my dad watched it without reading the books and he was confused. The Districts of Panem and rules of the Games might be puzzling to those new to the franchise.

Overall, the plot, sets and characters were well-developed and satisfying to watch. I would recommend this movie to any dystopian fans, as it is one of the best villain backstories I have ever seen.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Blueprint Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *