The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

The student news site of Wayland High School

Wayland Student Press

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Movie Review: “Hunger Games: The Ballad of the Song Birds and Snakes”

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Credit: Melina Barris
Join WSPN’s Melina Barris, Elyssa Grillo and Jessi Dretler as they review the newest addition to “The Hunger Games” franchise, “Hunger Games: The Ballad of the Song Birds and Snakes.”

Released on Nov. 17, “The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” has become the newest addition to “The Hunger Games” movie series, with its previous book release in 2020. Fans have been desperately waiting for a final movie to come out and this new release is exactly that.

The first Hunger Games movie came out almost 11 years ago and ever since then fans have been curious for more, like the backstories of the characters and the games held in the arena. “The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” has answered many fan-made conspiracies and lingering questions with its role as a prequel.

“The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” follows the life of lead antagonist, Coriolanus Snow, before becoming the conniving leader of the Capitol of Panem, the dystopian setting of the films. Snow has led almost every annual Hunger Games, a game in an arena where tributes from every district in Panem fight each other to the death. Fans have wondered what led Snow to become so cruel and vindictive, and this newly released movie perfectly captures exactly why. Lucy Gray Baird, the protagonist, was randomly selected from District 12 to come to the Capitol and fight in the games. Snow was her mentor, and from the moment he saw her sing at the Reaping ceramony, he knew she was different from the other tributes.

Throughout the movie, Snow dedicates himself to making sure Lucy Gray stays alive and well during The Hunger Games and afterward. Over the course of the movie, their relationship grows from just a mentor and tribute into a much more intense and deep relationship. This movie follows the violent and complicated life of Coriolanus Snow, and each section of the film goes over crucial parts in Snow’s life and how they led him to become the person he is. The movie is sectioned into three parts: The Mentor, The Prize and The Peacekeeper.

Throughout the film, as we watched Lucy Gray and Snow build a relationship, it’s clear that Snow cares about Lucy Gray, even making us wonder if their relationship could last. We were all rooting for them as they became closer. Yet, towards the end of the movie, that theory is proved wrong very quickly, which changes the entire being of their relationship.

Although the book clearly shows Snow’s wickedness from the beginning, the movie takes a longer time to discover his dark side. Without being able to see his inner thoughts like a book allows, the movie made it difficult for us to understand what Snow was feeling. Originally, Snow seemed like a nice boy just trying to win money for his family, but as the movie went on, we saw his true morals come to light. “The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” perfectly demonstrates his progression into wickedness.

We agree that this film was an essential addition to the Hunger Game series because not only did it tell us the important origin of President Snow, but it also proved Katniss Everdeen to be more powerful than we ever thought. It is revealed in “The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” that Lucy Gray wrote the song we first heard in “The Hunger Games” called “The Hanging Tree.” It was used to defy the Capitol’s control, so we always knew that Snow disliked it, but the fact that it reminded him of his first love and only weakness makes the message so much stronger. It was satisfying to see the connections made between the prequel and the rest of the series.

This movie kept everyone on the edge of their seats, whether it was the unraveling of Lucy Gray and Snow’s relationship, watching the tributes fight in the area or being left a cliffhanger at the end of the movie. Overall, this movie perfectly ties the whole series together, and has become our new favorite movie. We give this movie a 9/10 for its amazing plot twists and the love story tied along with it. If you enjoy dystopian themed movies or have watched the other Hunger Game movies, then “The Ballad of the Songbirds and Snakes” is the movie for you.

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About the Contributors
Elyssa Grillo, Staff Reporter
Elyssa Grillo, Class of 2025, is a first year reporter for WSPN. Elyssa plays for the Wayland high school field hockey team and is a member of Window Dance Ensemble. Outside of school, she enjoys ballet, spending time with friends and family, reading and shopping. Contact: [email protected]
Melina Barris, Staff Reporter
Melina Barris, Class of 2025, is a first year reporter for WSPN. She plays for the high school's field hockey team. Outside of school and sports, Melina enjoys seeing friends, traveling and drawing. Contact: [email protected]
Jessi Dretler, Staff Reporter
Jessi Dretler, Class of 2025, is a second year reporter for WSPN. Jessi plays for the WHS field hockey team and dive team. In her free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with family and friends. Contact: [email protected]
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