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The Brantley Banner

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The newest ‘Hunger Games’ movie is catching fire

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The new ‘Hunger Games’ movie, ‘The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’, was released to theaters on Nov. 17.

One of the most popular young-adult book series, “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins, recently received a film adaptation of the fourth book, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”. Released in theaters on Nov. 17, the movie was a hit nationwide. The film was directed by Francis Lawrence and stars Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler as the characters Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird respectively. The plot follows the original trilogy’s antagonist, Coriolanus Snow, as a teenage boy who is mentoring Lucy Gray for the tenth annual Hunger Games as he also battles with poverty and tries to regain his family’s formerly high status. We both saw “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” a few days after the premiere, with the contrasting perspectives of someone who had read the book and someone who hadn’t.

Nyla’s perspective

While viewing “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” as someone who hasn’t read the book, I found the movie fascinating. Throughout the movie, you see the steady decline of Snow’s mental state. At the beginning of the movie, Snow is merciful and empathetic while showing shallow disdain for some of his classmates. This is when he becomes most vulnerable and lets his feelings towards Lucy Gray interfere with Capitol rules. The imminent change in his emotions during the transition from the second part to the third is almost alarming as a viewer. At the end of the movie, my perception of Snow felt warped, and I was left confused about the thoughts behind Snow’s actions. 

After watching the movie, I was inspired to read the book. While reading the book I didn’t notice too many inconsistencies, but there were definitely a few. I feel that the lack of inner monologue in the movie creates a much more complicated plot for those who haven’t read the book. Overall, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” has deep characters and yields a dramatic plot twist, leaving viewers questioning their own morality.

Amelia’s perspective

As someone who read the book before seeing the movie, I took a lot in when viewing the movie. The film was perfectly cast in my opinion, with the actors capturing each character arc wonderfully. The character arc of Coriolanus is amazingly shown throughout the movie and we especially see a change in him once he loses all of his hair when he attends District 12 as a peacekeeper. The shaving of his hair shows his transformation into a more obsessive version of his old self. 

I was surprised at how accurate the movie was to the book. I enjoyed seeing the origin of the song “The Hanging Tree” before Lucy Gray wrote the song. Seeing the lyrics “a dead man call out for his love to flee” in the movie was amazing, especially since I was thinking they would have left that part out.  I also thought that the writers would have made a more definitive ending for Lucy Gray, but they left it to be interpreted by the viewer like in the book, which I was really happy about. I loved how in the movie they included very small references to Katniss like the bow and arrows in the arena, and the katniss plant making an appearance. The only thing I wished that they had done differently was including more of the Covey, the family of Lucy Gray, and show more of District 12 and Coriolanus’s time there. Showing more of the Covey and District 12 would have helped us establish more relationships with the characters. I also wanted more of Coriolanus’s descent into madness to be shown, perhaps with some of his inner monologue. This would have helped clarify Coriolanus’s reasoning for his actions which may seem unclear to the audience who have not read the books. 

The movie was certainly a spectacle to watch. It was a conclusive end to all audience members who had been hoping for a movie adaptation of this Hunger Games prequel. To say that I felt relieved at the release of the movie is an understatement. This is the perfect conclusion to the beloved series.

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About the Contributors
Amelia Galliford
Amelia Galliford, Section Editor
Junior Amelia Galliford is a second year staff member and the features editor of the Brantley Banner. Galliford is a part of the Thespian troupe and the Quill and Scroll Honor Society. Galliford enjoys reading books and writing stories in her spare time. After school Galliford participates in archery and creates fun art. She hopes to pursue a career in science or the performing arts.
Nyla Black
Nyla Black, Staff Reporter
Junior Nyla Black is a first year staff reporter for the Brantley Banner. Outside of school, she participates in various hobbies such as attending reptile conventions and antique markets, or going thrifting at Goodwills from time to time and collecting antique books. She is excited to be on the newspaper staff and is grateful for the experience it will give her to pursue journalism as a career in the future.
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