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‘Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ Lands On Top

New Hunger Games Movie Reviewed
Pictured is a mocking jay pin which is what Katniss Everdeen, the main character of the Original Hunger Games, wore. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a prequel to the Hunger Games.

**May Contain Spoilers**

Films are a way for morals to be exemplified and to show the consequences of society. The new Hunger Games movie, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” was released on Nov. 17 with much anticipation from fans that have followed the trilogy since the books came out on Sept. 14, 2008. The movie was overall enticing and powerful, and the casting and subtle hints at the original series made the film groundbreaking. 

The movie started out with a flashback of Cornelius Snow searching for food as a child. It then jumped to his young adulthood and the troubles he was facing due to the fact that he did not have enough money to live in the capital. From the start, Tom Blythe and Rachel Zeigler’s performance reeled me in. The way Tom Blythe slowly evolved into the tyrannical character that was originally portrayed in the first movies was masterful.  

Although Rachel Zeigler is relatively new to the Hollywood scene, she proved that she is good enough to take on larger, box office roles. On top of singing in the movie, she had to sing with a thick country accent. Throughout the movie, she sang with passion and soul. The best tracks included “Pure As The Driven Snow,” “The Ballad of Lucy Gray Baird,” and the familiar tune of “The Hanging Tree,” which was a reference to the original Hunger Games and excited the fans. The most emotional song included, “The Old Therebefore,” which sent chills down the whole audience’s spine. It was already an emotional scene since Lucy Gray was trapped in the arena and snakes were crawling up her body. Zeigler’s song started off soft, and then, as she became more desperate, her voice became louder and determined. This scene validated that Rachel Ziegler has talent beyond compare and her career is going nowhere but up. 

Along with the singing and acting, the references made throughout the movie to the original book series were genius and added a nostalgic feel. One instance was when Ziegler sat in the grass near the lake, a type of plant was brought to her. While she examined it, she talked to Snow and explained that the plant was called Katniss, which is the main character in the original books and movies. It was exciting and it felt like everything connected. It was subtle enough that if someone didn’t watch the movie it wouldn’t hinder the plot, but if someone was familiar, they would make that connection. “The Hanging Tree,” sung by Rachel Ziegler, parallels the scene when Jennifer Lawrence, playing Katniss Everdeen, sings it. The song was a ballad that was passed down through generations of District 12 citizens. 

Although the movie industry has had a rough patch due to the pandemic and acting strikes, the ratings are on an upward trend and this movie is no exception. There are times when a prequel or remake can completely fail, and leave a bitter taste with the fans; this movie did the complete opposite. People are reading the books, watching the movies, and even making tik-tok edits about “The Hunger Games” series, and it seems like the newer generations will be as familiar with the series as the older ones. 

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About the Contributor
Callie Holmes, Website EiC
Hi everyone! My name is Callie Holmes and I am the editor in chief of the Stampede News. This is my second year in Spub and I am so excited to be running the website this year. I wanted to do SPUB because it is such a welcoming community where people are allowed to use their voice freely. I love how journalism is able to connect people through words and information. I am excited to revamp the website and add more interactive components to it.

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