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The odds were in favor of the “Hunger Games” prequel

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Critics may have had low opinions, but this movie many people obsessing over President Snow and his past life.

Director Francis Lawrence and Lionsgate released the “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Song Birds and Snakes” on Nov 17 and it portrays a vivid backstory of the main antagonist from “The Hunger Games” trilogy, President Coriolanus Snow. This emotionally thrilling film highlights the Panem war and Snow’s teenage life after it. 

During the trilogy, the Capitol celebrates the 74 years of the hunger games treaty. Each of the 12 districts send a male and a female representative to fight to the death in what is called the hunger games. A young girl, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers in front of her sister that sparks a revolution against the Capitol.

Tom Blyth, who plays Coriolanus Snow, depicts the president’s iconic angry stare and personality. The acting and writing is a huge highlight of the movie that provided depth and showed perfection. Snow is a perfect protagonist for this movie because of his horrid future as a maniacal tyrant and helps his fans sympathize with him throughout this film.

Blyth plays his character to convince people that Snow was once a good person, and I totally believed it. At first, Snow’s caring personality for his tribute, Lucy Gray Baird, played by Rachel Zegler, may have been driven by money, but he eventually turns to love. Knowing that the evil tyrant in the original trilogy had a rough, but loving past creates an emotional layer in the movie.

Baird is very similar to Katniss Everdeen from “The Hunger Games.”Being from District 12, protesting the Capitol during the Hunger Games and persuading the Capitol’s people through her personality reminded viewers of Everdeen and how she won the games herself. Other small references, including the Katniss plant, mockingjays and the Hanging Tree, were scattered throughout the movie providing an allusion to Everdeen and her image in this prequel. Outside of Everdeen, Baird’s singing songwriting added a charm into her personality and provoked rebellion within the districts.

The video and effect production quality was amazing throughout the movie. Filming locations started in Wroclaw, Poland and ended in Berlin, Germany, setting the vibrant background and architecture that the Capitol famously has. A rustic and modern combination provided the sets a feeling of realism, connecting our modern world to the movie’s dystopia.

While the plot line is amazing and the film quality matched it, the movie is extremely long, running for 2 hours and 38 minutes. This runtime was a small sacrifice for the film’s overall quality, but it certainly turned many people away from it. Sitting for that long was not the most comfortable, and many people had to leave for the bathroom throughout the showing, missing important parts of the plot.

The movie’s overall rating is 64% on Rotten Tomatoes and 54% on Metacritic. Critics are complaining about how the movie ends, saying that it was rushed and does not connect the young Snow to his maniacal older self. Other people are arguing that, while the acting was amazing, there was little to no chemistry between the actors, leaving more to be desired from the relationships within the film.

While I believe these critiques are fair, the movie script easily attracted me to each individual and how their past lives set up the original movies set many years later. I thought that the connection between the actors and the audience made up for the lack of a connection between the characters themselves.

Connecting to the audience and the original movies is what made this movie great for me. I was emotionally invested in the plot and left wanting to see more of Snow’s upbringing. For anyone willing to sit back and watch a long movie, this film intelligently attracts the audience towards each character and their personalities, and I would recommend it to anyone who has seen the originals or is craving more of the franchise.

Contact Ian Humphreys at [email protected]

About the Contributor
Ian Humphreys
Ian Humphreys, Managing Editor
My name is Ian Humphreys and I am the managing editor this year! I took the intro class my sophomore year and was on staff last year. Outside of journalism, I am on the EMHS drumline and also marched DCI drumline this past summer. I love to skateboard and play frisbee golf as well.