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The Student News Site of Lindale High School

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The Student News Site of Lindale High School

Eagle Eye News

Movie Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

The+Ballad+of+Songbirds+and+Snakes+book+cover.
Cover by Scholastic Press
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes book cover.

Suzanne Collins’ latest addition to the Hunger Games series The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes is the perfect example of a prequel done right. This high-action adventure tells the origin story of President Coriolanus Snow and his mentorship of Lucy Gray Baird, a singer from District Twelve, as they battle through the tenth Hunger Games. This movie was amazing and shared themes of love, trust, and fear: all staples of the story viewers know best.

What impressed me so much with this movie was the music and songs sung by lead actress Rachel Zegler. While many stray away from songs in a non-musical movie, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes uses music as a storytelling element. These songs were shared to explore the deep feeling of Lucy Gray Baird and capture the Appalachian and rebellious feel of the environment District Twelve is in during the beginning of the history of the Hunger Games. Rachel Zegler’s vocal performances were spectacular and what made them even more impressive was that many of her musical ballads were sung live. In a post on her Instagram, Zegler reveals in a caption, “I made the choice to sing live for every take throughout filming the Hunger Games,” along with a performance of her singing “Pure as the Driven Snow.” Oftentimes movies prerecord songs so that actors and actresses do not have to strain their voices for hours as they take several shots of the same scene. By allowing Zegler to sing live, the music has the feeling of life and soul that sometimes gets lost in prerecorded versions. 

While this movie had an excellent story, nothing tells a love story more than character development. President Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, is a complex and hard-to-portray character. In his early years, Snow still cares for the people around him; however, as the story progresses the audience sees his descent into anger and the formation of his superiority complex. Portraying this shift from moral goodness to the evil most fans know can be difficult on screen. However, the writers captured this shift beautifully when Snow shaves his head and moves to District Twelve. The shaving of his head symbolizes the loss of his old self and the shedding of his morality. He is finally giving in to his malicious tendencies and is working to become a powerful man amongst the capitol and the districts. This movie beautifully shows his origin story and how his desire for power corrupts his soul and drives him to become the villain we later know in the older movies. 

The Ballad of Singbirds and Snakes is a movie I recommend all people to watch, whether Hunger Games fans or not. This excellent handcrafted story reignited my love for movies and provided a beautiful soundtrack that I, and many others, will sing for years to come. This movie earns 4.9/5 stars from me and has made it to the top of my movie list.

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About the Contributor
Jaida Jones, Editor-In-Chief
Jaida is a senior and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Eagle Eye and a fourth-year theater student. She has performed in shows such as 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Caucasian Chalk Circle.'

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