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The Talon Tribune

The Talon Tribune

A Journey into Panem’s Past – The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

Morgan Huff
The Novel “Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” Hard Cover by Suzanne Collins

“The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, the prequel to Suzanne Collins’ dystopian masterpiece, takes audiences on a riveting and thought-provoking journey into the origins of “The Hunger Games.” This novel was adapted into a movie that recently came out on November 17. Directed with finesse and anchored by outstanding performances, this new film in theaters currently is something everyone needs to go watch.

“The Hunger Games” trilogy, written by Suzanne Collins, is set in a dystopian future in the nation of Panem, where the Capitol rules over 12 poverty-stricken districts, controlled by the aged President Snow. To maintain control, the Capitol annually selects one male and one female “tribute” from each district to participate in the televised and deadly Hunger Games. The series follows Katniss Everdeen, a resourceful young woman from District 12, who volunteers to take her sister’s place in the games. Alongside her fellow tribute Peeta Mellark, Katniss navigates the brutal challenges of the arena while also becoming a symbol of rebellion against the Capitol.

The newest addition to the saga, a prequel “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is the time before the original series, set against the backdrop of a young and ambitious Coriolanus Snow excellently portrayed by the talented Tom Blyth. The movie sheds light on the complex history of Panem and the origins of the ruthless Hunger Games along with future President Snow’s journey to evil. Blyth’s performance captures the evolution of a character who is both intriguing and confused, adding layers of depth to the story. His portrayal of the character’s internal struggles and moral dilemmas adds a compelling layer to the storyline of the original trilogy.

Director Francis Lawrence’s visual storytelling is nothing short of masterful. The film’s cinematography beautifully captures the contrast between the opulence of the Capitol and the poverty of the districts, immersing the audience in the realities of Panem’s social hierarchy. The attention to detail in recreating the world of Panem enhances the film’s authenticity for fans of the franchise.

“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” doesn’t shy away from the moral complexities and ethical dilemmas that define the Hunger Games universe. The script, penned by Collins herself, skillfully explores the themes of power, privilege, and the consequences of unchecked ambition. The narrative is thought-provoking, offering a fresh perspective on the events that shaped the dystopian society depicted in the original trilogy and Coriolanus Snow’s future ruling.

The pacing of the film is perfectly balanced, allowing for moments of tension, reflection, and action to unfold organically. The score, composed by James Newton Howard, complements the narrative, heightening the emotional impact of key scenes. With actress Rachel Ziegler portraying the character Lucy Gray Baird, a District 12 tribute in the 10th Hunger Games, her cunning attitude and singing talent capture the attention of her eventual mentor, Coriolanus Snow, shaping his perspective on survival, power, and the Capitol’s nature. Her role serves as a catalyst for the evolution of Snow’s character and provides the understanding of the original Hunger Games.

In conclusion, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is a triumph that successfully expands the rich tapestry of the Hunger Games universe. With a well-chosen cast and a compelling narrative, this prequel stands as a testament to the riveting and intriguing series. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a newcomer to Panem, this film is a must-watch that will leave you anticipating the next chapter in this saga.

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About the Contributor
Morgan Huff
Morgan Huff, Staff Writer

Morgan Huff is a senior at Silver Creek High school and first year writer for the Talon Tribute. She decided to join journalism because she wanted to engage with members of the Raptor community. She also wants first hand experience in journalism to see if it is a potential career choice. Huff finds joy in many things such as soccer, skiing, friends and reading. She played for the Silver Creek Women’s Varsity soccer team. She looks forward to writing about other’s passions!

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