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Movie review of A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

An official movie review from a book series fan (spoilers included!)

After finishing A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the book became one of my favorites, so heading into the movie theater I had extremely high expectations for the film. Full of excellent music, fashion, and acting, this movie did not let me down. The casting was spot on, bringing the characters I pictured in my mind to life right in front of my eyes. Rachel Zegler and Tom Blythe were perfect for the roles. I think it was incredibly smart to cast Tom Blythe for President Snow considering his good looks, helping the audience understand how Snow manipulated Lucy Gray, his love interest and tribute in the games, and the whole Capital. Hazel Gleason took the words right out of my mouth when saying, “He is the most beautiful man I’ve ever seen.”

I only have a few criticisms about the film. There were only very few parts in the movie that were different from the book, one being the voice recording playing over the speakers at Sejanus’s hanging. Also, in the book, Snow is possessive and power-hungry since meeting Lucy Gray. The movie did not show this very well, making the audience sympathize with Snow because there was no inner monologue. The audience didn’t see Snow turn truly evil until he went ballistic in the end, killing Lucy Gray and Dean Highbottom. Additionally, the movie led us to believe that Snow and Sejanus were good friends, but if you read the books you would know that’s not true. Snow hated Sejanus and only became close to him to win the Plinth Prize. Regardless,I do believe the movie was still one of the best book-movie adaptations I’ve seen. There’s only so much a director can do to make the film portrayed accurately to the books. Thus, I gave the film a four-star rating.

This movie had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, knowing the inevitable ending. Rachel Zegler’s singing gave me chills, specifically her song to the snakes and audience after winning the Hunger Games. If you have read the other Hunger Games books or seen the movies, I highly recommend watching the prequel. If you have already seen the film, don’t pass up the opportunity to skip reading the book. This book and movie without a doubt, topped the original Hunger Games series for me. Go watch it!

Rating: ★★★★☆

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About the Contributor
Kelsey Nogai
Kelsey Nogai, Arts Editor
Kelsey is a senior at Southwest and this is her first year being a part of The Navigator, serving as this years Arts Editor. She loves cats and crocheting. She is on the tennis team and holds multiple jobs outside of school. One being a team lead at Cafe Zupas.

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