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Students share thoughts on Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds

By Olivia Mangelli, Staff Writer

On Nov. 17, the highly anticipated return to the dystopian world of Panem, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” was released in theaters worldwide. Almost a decade after the last “Hunger Games” film, “Mockingjay Part II,” came out. This film is a prequel to the games and characters that we grew up watching on the big screen. 

The film delves into the capital’s history and offers fans a glimpse into the beginnings of the Hunger Games. The movie introduces us to young Cornelius Snow, long before he became the President Snow we see in the series of the movies. He is played by up-and-coming actor Tom Blyth, as the audiences get to discover what really turned him into such an antagonist that is so easy to hate. Young Snow becomes a mentor to a tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird, who he quickly becomes intertwined with. This relationship is later a reason for his downward spiral. She is played by 22-year-old Rachel Zegler. Other famous actors who had roles in this film were Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage and Hunter Schafer. 

Days after the actor strike was over, this film was one of the first that was able to be advertised and talked about publicly by the actors and crew. 

The film has already surpassed $200 million internationally, without being released on a streaming service, an approach a lot of other films were taking in order to make money.

Many students on campus saw this film, and the verdict was split almost equally between if people enjoyed it or not. Those who read the book had primarily negative feelings about the film, insisting that the audiences didn’t get to see the extent of  Snow’s internal struggles that led to his transformation as described in the book. 

Junior fashion merchandising major Ashley Failia shared her mixed feelings about the film. 

“I read the book, so it was hard to compare the two of them, but I liked the movie. I just wish we saw more of how Snow completely went insane and changed. That part was rushed in my opinion, and I thought the game sequence would be longer. It didn’t even really feel like a Hunger Games movie, because we only saw what felt like 10 minutes of the actual games in the whole three-hour film,” she said.

Courtesy of IMDB

The film sits at a two hour and 39 minute run time, and is broken up into three different parts each with their own story to follow. Suzanne Collins, the author of the Hunger Games book series, has organized all her books in this fashion, however, this is the first Hunger Games movie to incorporate this into the film. 

Despite not reading the books, senior marketing major Melissa Fleming went to see the film on opening weekend with her boyfriend. 

“I loved it,” Fleming said. “I’ve always loved the series and was so happy this one finally came out. It was a great story and really nostalgic in a way. I grew up watching ‘The Hunger Games,’ so it was cool to experience another one of the films in the theater.”

“Hunger Games: Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” is projected to keep doing extremely well in the box office, with its online presence being highly amplified.

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