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The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

The Student News Site of Athens Academy

The Spartan Review

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A Review of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (No Spoilers)

Photo of Caroline Fowlers movie ticket
Photo of Caroline Fowler’s movie ticket

Before watching “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” I went into the theater with very high expectations, and the movie successfully surpassed every one. Though long, this film was action packed, and the continual suspense always kept me captivated. 

 

Surprisingly, though the original Hunger Games movies had dark, depressing themes, this new addition to the franchise amplified the horror and brutality of the Hunger Games. The games were extremely explicit and chaotic, and they, as well as the movie overall, were noticeably more maturely and intricately detailed than in the original films. This addition really took hold of my emotions more than the other movies, and I found myself jumping in my seat in fear one moment and on the brink of tears the next. Ultimately, this amplification of danger and tragedy made the movie feel much more real and alive than any of the others.

 

Though horrific themes were very present in Part I, the exciting, rebellious love story of Coriolanus Snow and Lucy Gray Baird lifted the mood of the movie significantly. Unlike many of the other Hunger Games movies, where the tone was, in my opinion, too depressing for far too long, this new movie jumped from a despondent tone to a hopeful one. I was instantly attached to these two main characters, Snow and Lucy Gray, who sold their love story perfectly. Both had rich, vulnerable personalities, as well as insane chemistry which, along with their exceptional acting, made their story so enjoyable to follow. 

 

There was something a little off with the acting of Rachel Zegler in the role of Lucy Gray that I couldn’t quite place, but her singing throughout the film was phenomenal, and just for that I am so grateful they casted her for this role. Her folksy, upbeat ballads were never overwhelming in number and were a necessary touch to contrast the downcast mood, and her singing was always filled to the brim with emotion, leaving me amazed. Lucy also brought many exciting parallels with characters and themes in the original movies, which were fun to pick up on and interesting to compare, and it brought another level of depth to this new movie that, again, wasn’t present in the originals.

 

Finally, we have arrived at the most controversial part of the film: the ending. If there is one thing that could make this movie better, it is another movie. To many in the audience, as well as most critics, the ending, which was noticeably quickly paced to the point of feeling rushed, ruined the movie. It brought upon a vaguely eerie, unpleasant feeling, as the danger which had been satisfyingly screamed in my face was now being ominously easily escaped, yet the feeling that something wasn’t right followed. The characters seemed to completely leave behind their personas that I had grown to trust, and now I had no idea what to expect, causing the ending to be surprisingly unpredictable. Overall, the finale was confusing and open ended, yet it seemed unclear whether that was the intention. Lastly, the movie wrapped up with a few cheesy lines and a villainous ending, though the final scene was very well done. 

 

Though somewhat upsetting, I enjoyed the mystery of the ending, which kept me thinking far after it ended and made the film much more memorable than any of the originals, and, ultimately, this ending, as well as the entire film, powerfully reflected the theme of raw humanity that is the Hunger Games.

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