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‘The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes:’ a review

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Kate Oller
Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes take cinemas worldwide.

It’s 2008, and critically acclaimed author Suzanne Collins releases the first novel to her impressively popular series, ‘The Hunger Games.’ Due to its immense success, four movie adaptations shortly followed each release, starring actress Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen. After Collins’ final book in the series, ‘Mockingjay,’ she concluded her novel until 2020, when she released a prequel, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.’

The prequel, like all of Collins’ other books in the series, was adapted into a movie and released Nov. 17 this year. The movie was directed by Francis Lawrence and stars Rachel Zegler as Lucy Gray Bard and Tom Blyth as Coriolanus Snow. The film is currently one of the most popular movies being watched in cinemas as of now, and has brought in $243 million dollars in its third week.

As someone who read this novel when it came out in 2020, the movie adaptation was surprisingly accurate and interesting. A few changes were made through the film, but they weren’t major to the plot. Though the movie is quite long (two hours and 38 minutes), I was left in my seat craving more. 

What really made the film phenomenal was the choice of actors and actresses. For this being Zegler’s third movie ever, she was very exceptional. My favorite part was her singing throughout the film. She performs various songs Collins had written in the book, inspired by music from the Appalachian. The songs were meaningful and her voice is incredibly beautiful, making a great addition to the film. 

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“The intention to keep Lucy authentic to the Appalachian culture was very important, and I think Dave and his musicians had a great time exploring thatI was glad we weren’t trying to make it ‘palatable’ for younger audiences by giving it a pop music vibe,” Zegler said, in regard to the film’s musical producer Dave Cobb.

Designer Trish Summerville made the spectacular costumes for the film. Summerville has worked on other Hunger Games movies as well. The audience could gain a lot of information on each character depending on their clothing, like Lucy Gray’s infamous “rainbow-ruffle dress” that she wears throughout a large portion of the film. 

Lucy Gray’s rainbow dress is described in depth in the book, so fans made sure to send Summerville messages on social media to make sure she did the dress justice, and she definitely did. 

“I wanted to have something for Rachel and also for the fan base, that gives them this kind of kinship,” Summerville said in an interview with Vogue.

Overall, every little detail in the film really made it an amazing, fun and emotional film, especially for fans of the franchise. If you’re interested in watching, I definitely recommend going now while it’s still in theaters. 

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About the Contributor
Hi, I’m Kate! I’ve been in Highlights since freshman year and I am in the class of 2025. I moved here 2 years ago from NYC. I’m very passionate about animal and environmental rights, and I love listening to music like Queen, Maneskin, Beabadoobee, and TXT! I hope you enjoy reading our articles, and please support Highlights!
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