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Fifth Movie in Hunger Games Series Airs in Theaters

The+fifth+movie+in+the+Hunger+Games+series%2C+The+Ballad+of+Songbirds+and+Snakes%2C+released+in+theaters+on+Nov.+17.+Photo+by+Lionsgate.
The fifth movie in the Hunger Games series, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, released in theaters on Nov. 17. Photo by Lionsgate.

Sitting on grass in the meadow watching her husband, Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), play with their son, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) holds their baby close to her chest, ending “The Hunger Games: The Mockingjay – Part 2” movie. In 2015, fans of The Hunger Games left theaters, believing this film and its novel finalized the trilogy. Five years later, on May 19, 2020, Suzanne Collins released a prequel called “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” reeling fans in once again, and on Nov. 17, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” movie released into theaters, bringing the novel to life.

TBOSBAS features Katniss Everdeen’s most significant enemy, President Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), providing the origin story of his Hunger Games obsession and how the games developed. Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage), Dean of the Capitol Academy High School, created the Hunger Games to punish the districts for their failed rebellion and essentially remind them of the Capitol’s power.

This movie focuses on the 10th annual Hunger Games and the Capitol’s establishment of mentors for the first time. The system ran differently compared to the original Hunger Games trilogy. The seniors at the Capitol Academy were the mentors of the tributes, there were 24 mentors, one for each tribute, and the mentor whose tribute either won the games or stood out the most was promised a substantial amount of money through the Plinth Prize. Eighteen-year-old Snow lacked wealth and sought to make his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler) from District 12, a star in hopes of winning the Plinth Prize to pay for Capitol University. 

The money would come from Strabo Plinth, father of Sejanus Plinth (Josh Andres Rivera), one of Snow’s classmates and mentor of the District 2 boy. Snow describes a flip-flopped relationship between himself and Sejanus mainly because of his conjectures about Sejanus since he used to live in District 2 before the war. Strabo sided with the capital and earned his family’s place within the Capitol by providing weaponry, but Snow only ever saw Sejanus as District. To be fair, so did Sejanus the majority of the time. Regardless, Snow and Sejanus became close friends, some would say best friends, but I think that’s a stretch seeing as Snow constantly betrayed Sejanus and never truly respected him.

The movie and the book are from Snow’s perspective, who served as an exceptionally unreliable narrator. Snow suspects everyone and everything, typically overanalyzing people to the point that he sees no redeemable traits about them. Many fans almost felt bad for Snow or rooted for him at times because he victimized himself and made well-argued excuses for all of his mistakes. Lucy Gray started to suspect Snow in return, turning a mutual admiration into mutual distrust.

Inspired by Lucy Gray’s legacy, Olivia Rodrigo and Daniel Nigro wrote Can’t Catch Me Now perfectly displaying Lucy Gray and Sejanus’s lasting effect on Snow through Katniss and Peeta despite his attempts to escape her. The Hanging Tree, the forbidden song of Lucy Gray sung by Katniss in “The Mockingjay,” written by Suzanne Collins and composed by James Newton Howard, depicted that effect and likely sent President Snow over the edge knowing that Lucy Gray would never be truly forgotten. 

The director of TBOSBAS, Francis Lawrence, also directed “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” and “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2,” so audiences held high expectations going into the theaters. Based on trailers and clips of the movie seen on social media, I expected the film to be similar to “Catching Fire” regarding quality and engagement. The quality of the movie surpassed “Catching Fire” most likely due to technological advances in film since “Catching Fire” was released ten years ago in 2013. “Catching Fire” will always be my favorite Hunger Games movie especially because I could root for the main character of “Catching Fire.”

Currently, I see a lot of fans ranking the movies and in the order of least favorite to most favorite, I would rank in the order of “The Mockingjay Part – 2,” “The Mockingjay Part – 1,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” then “Catching Fire”. “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” movie receives five stars from me, but it’s only my second favorite Hunger Games movie. I blame Coriolanus Snow.

About the Contributor
Bryanna Owens
Bryanna Owens, Staff Writer
Little excites me before 9 am.
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    camilaJan 8, 2024 at 8:36 am

    this convinced me to go watch the movie 🙂