(Extra Credit) The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes *Spoiler Alert

I watched the new Hunger Games movie over the weekend and it was honestly one of the best movies I have watched in a while. Usually, I do not like the second or third movie of a trilogy in comparison to the first one, so I went into the theater with skepticism because I knew that this film would be a prequel to the trilogy. However, the film went against my doubts and made me want to watch it again.

Unlike the prequels that I have watched previously, the film kept me on the edge of my seat and helped me make sense of why Coriolanus Snow, the future president of Panem, is as mean and heartless as he is presented in the trilogy. There were still many unanswered questions like whether Lucy Gray was able to run away and live out her life or whether the peacekeepers got to her. The new film also made me want to rewatch the trilogy because of how the new film presented Coriolanus Snow and made me wonder if the actor was able to portray the subtle nostalgia that he must have felt when Katniss participated in the games like her bow, the songs that she sings, or even her name.

The aspects that made the film so good was the sound, cinematography, and the plot. Maybe it was because I hadn’t watched a movie in theaters in a really long time, but the sound really got be engaged and made me relate to all the characters that much more. There were many jump scares, which I thought worked because I was just so absorbed. In addition, the film score was just amazing and was able to portray the mood of the scene so perfectly. Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler) being a singer in the film and singing multiple songs made the sound even that much better.

In addition to the sound, the cinematography, especially the setting and costuming was so realistic and felt like the characters were actually in the games. Though the stabbing and killing of each other was a little violent at times and made me cringe, it just added to the relatability and realism of the film.

Overall, I thought that the ending wasn’t predictable and even though we know that Coriolanus Snow survive because of the trilogy and it is expected that Lucy Gray win because Snow is the future president, the way that Lucy Gray won the games was really smart. Every action had an explanation and even tied back to previous points in the film. All in all, I really recommend the film.

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