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“The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” hits the mark with emotional connection

Spoiler Alert
Murray Close/Lionsgate

Dystopian movies are officially back after the release of  last month’s “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.” The prequel features the backstory of Coriolanus Snow who is played by Tom Blyth, and how he grew into the villain all viewers learned to hate. 

The film starts off with an introduction to Coriolanus Snow, and it is revealed that there’s more to his story than we knew. Snow lived in the capital all his life, and his family always had a high place in society. After the war his family was left with nothing and he became an orphan. Snows internal struggles where perfectly captured, with the film showing his crave for power.

Ten years later Snow is on his way to graduate from the academy; a school for all children of the capital, as its top student when he is assigned one last task. Snow and his classmates were to become mentors for all 24 tributes in The 10th Hunger Games. Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12 gets assigned to snow as his last project.

Lucy Gray strongly resembles Katniss Everdeen, and the reasoning behind Snow’s hatred towards Katniss became clear to me after the film. The directors did an excellent job showing the complex relationship between Snow and Lucy Gray, which is filled with layers of interpretation, as they navigate their individual desires and Lucy Gray’s survival.

The two share a complicated bond that becomes even stronger as the movie progresses, but Snow is faced with a choice between love and power. The film did an outstanding job connecting this film with the original movies, and fans of the originally series will be quite happy with it.

The cinematography is incredibly well done, and there are small details that tie in plot elements from the other films in the franchise. The soundtrack adds an emotional connection to the earlier movies, and Rachel Zegler, who plays Lucy Gray, performed several songs live for the film, adding depth to her character. 

This movie shows how far people’s obsession with power can take them, and it is filled with complicated characters with whom we can sympathize. It does justice to the original films without trying to outshine them.

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