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An Honest Review of “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” From A Former Hunger Games Obsessed Middle Schooler

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at NCSU chapter.

The Hunger Games franchise will always hold a special place in my heart. From the ages of 11 to 13 it was seriously all that I cared about, talked about, thought about–you get the point. I read the books over and over, watched the movies over and over, and covered my bedroom walls with photos of the characters and cast. I, of course, went as Katniss for Halloween one year, so it is definitely safe to say that based on all of that information, I was pretty obsessed.

When Suzanne Collins announced that she would be releasing a prequel–The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes– that would also be turned into a movie, I was over the moon. I was wanting it to be a prequel about Finnick and his Games, but thought that one about President Coriolanus Snow’s upbringing would also be really interesting. Now I cannot continue writing this without admitting that I actually have not gotten around to reading the book. I am typically a “read it before you watch it” kind of person, but I never found the time and honestly wanted to go into the movie blind without knowing what happened, and I am so glad that I did.

I thought the movie was really great. Some critics were calling it the best movie out of the franchise, but nothing could ever and will ever top Catching Fire. However, the film was still good. I thought that Tom Blyth did a fantastic job at portraying the younger version of President Snow. So much so that you actually feel bad for him and root for his character. I thought Rachel Zegler also did a good job as her character, Lucy Gray Baird, a tribute from District 12. Viola Davis was incredible and Jason Schwartzman steals the show as Lucky Flickerman–Caesar Flickerman’s father. 

The film is riddled with references to the original movies. I won’t spoil anything here but I definitely let out my fair share of gasps that I shared with one of my friends who is also a former Hunger Games obsessee. Overall, I really enjoyed the movie so much so that I am encouraged to read the book. It felt like a Hunger Games movie and it was really interesting to see how things came to be in the trilogy and how everything wasn’t always so prim and proper. If you have a chance to go see it in theaters, I highly recommend it, especially if you were a fan of the original movies. It may not have been the same without Katniss, but she makes her way in there somehow. I guess you’ll just have to watch to see what I mean. 

Cameron Crews is the president of Her Campus at NC State. She is responsible for publishing all articles, leading meetings, encouraging all staff, and overseeing the entire chapter. This is her third year on Her Campus and her second year as President. Outside of Her Campus, Cameron was the Editor-in-Chief of her high school’s yearbook, which she helped lead to being awarded the best book in the entire state and honored at Columbia University’s scholastic journalism awards. She worked as an intern at Southpark Magazine in Charlotte, NC, where she edited articles, conducted interviews, and assisted the editors. In the Summer of 2023, she attended Regents University in London, England, where she took fashion classes from high players in the fashion industry who have worked with the likes of Andy Warhol, Alexander McQueen, Christian Siriano, and more. She also had the opportunity to interview Brendan Fraser immediately after he won his “Best Actor” Oscar at the 2023 Academy Awards. She is a junior at NC State University majoring in Communications with a minor in Journalism. After graduation, she hopes to move to New York, LA, Paris, or London and work in the fashion industry as either a fashion editor or celebrity stylist. Cameron was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, with her younger brother and dog, George Bailey. She enjoys shopping, watching movies, listening to music, writing, hanging out with friends, and traveling in her free time. She is a huge Taylor Swift and Harry Styles fan and has seen them both in concert multiple times. She is also a huge Timothee Chalamet aficionado and is a huge movie fan–with some of her favorites being Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, Barbie, Lady Bird, the Breakfast Club, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.