Hunger Games prequel exceeds expectations

Taylor Girggs/Prowler


After years of anticipation, speculation, and excitement, “Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” has finally been released in theaters, and let us begin by saying it has undoubtedly exceeded expectations. The movie is a prequel to the popular series, “The Hunger Games”, written by Suzanna Collins that was then adapted into movies. The storyline follows the protagonist Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem and current district 12 mentor played by Tom Blythe, and Lucy Gray Baird, a district 12 tribute in the 10th Hunger Games played by Rachel Zegler.

The film dives into how Snow became what we see in the 75th Hunger Games and how he came to be president of Panem. It also gives more insight on the rocky relationship between Baird and Snow. The portrayal of the two was incredible and the interactions and romantic tension between the two left us on the edges of our seats.

The movie begins with Snow in the Capitol academy as one of their star students. Seeing as how the Hunger Games viewer rates were getting low, the game makers decide to have each of the academy students mentor someone from the districts. Snow ends up getting paired with Baird, a small girl from district 12. Baird works as a singer and has no background of fighting, so people had very little faith in her winning. After a gruesome game, she wins with the help of Snow and is sent back to her district where she continues her career as a singer. Back in the Capitol, Snow gets sentenced to become a peacekeeper in the districts for interfering with the games. Don’t worry though, not even that will keep him from Baird. Snow ends up paying off a district official and goes to district 12. There he finds Baird again and the two develop a romantic relationship. After some unfortunate events the two decide to flee the districts and the grip of the Capitol; however, their escape does not go as planned.

As far as technical aspects go, the costumes were absolutely perfect, with the overall favorite being Baird’s iconic rainbow dress. The dress captured Baird’s style and gave viewers a better idea of her personality as a rebel, as the other district 12 inhabitants wear earth-toned clothing in order to conform. Along with the rainbow dress, Viola Davis, or Dr. Volumina Gaul is seen wearing a labcoat tainted by red stains. The stains on the labcoat can be interpreted as bloodshed, as Dr.Gaul is a driving force for violence within the film. The set was also very well thought out with details that really brought each scene together, such as a bar being placed between Baird and Snow, signifying their differences. The Panem flag also played a major role in the movie. In one scene the bodies of the tributes are covered with the flag which really solidifies the corruption within the Capitol.

Our favorite scenes would have to be the ones with Lucretius “Lucky” Flickerman played by Jason Schwartzman. Flickerman is the host of the Hunger Games and brings a lively, comedic aspect to the film. Another fun fact about Flickerman is that one of his descendants, Caesar Flickerman, takes over as the game show host and can be seen hosting in the other “Hunger Games” movies. Flickerman presents us with a satire personification of the Capitol mentality. His dystopian commentary on the games further solidifies the aloofness of the Capitol, by profiting at the expense of the districts.

We would definitely recommend watching this movie regardless of if you’ve watched “The Hunger Games” or not. This movie can be watched as a standalone, or as the prequel to the other movies in the series. It’s perfect if you like action, romance, and tragedy with a splash of comedy. Don’t forget to bring a box of tissues to the theater. May the odds be ever in your favor!