calm sea during golden hour






12/28/20232 min read

The new film adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes has been taking the internet by storm ever since it premiered on November 17th of 2023. As the underrated prequel of Hunger Games (in my opinion), it was spotlighted with the release of its very own film. It follows the life of young President Snow while he is a student at the Capitol Academy, hiding poverty and spewing lies to get into the highest circles. The Hunger Games whirls by and changes him from a power-seeking Capitol Academy academic it-boy to an avaricious, poison-wielding man who will stop at nothing before he reaches the top. His main dialogue in the book/movie, “Snow always lands on top”, eventually comes to highlight his money-lust and that he will stop at nothing before he gets what he wants.

In my very humble opinion, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes would be my favourite book in the series, only seconded by Catching Fire. My opinion-while extremely controversial, is because I simply enjoy the writing style, which is third person and somewhat different from the other three books which are in Katniss’s POV, or perhaps I enjoy Suzanne’s rendering of a boy gone to ruin in the depths of a dark, embezzled district.

The movie follows much of the storyline of the book, only cutting away the small parts which matter in a more trivial way. It shows the post-war Capitol as what it really is, a capital of a once shining country struggling to return to its former glory, but still holding onto its pride. This is showed in every Capitol student’s persona as they boast about their riches, dress in showy outfits, snicker and mock about the misery of the district people’s lives. Coriolanus is just the same as any of them except more conniving, less rich, and more of a chess player than a doll. He’s too busy thinking of what he’s going to do next than dress up in suits to bamboozle some simpering Capitol daddy’s girl who has more lashes than brains.

It clarifies that monsters are not born, they’re made. Coriolanus, after betraying Sejanus and causing him to get hanged, even cries. But there are no tears present when he hunts down Lucy Gray in the woods, suggesting that he may have been too power-greedy by then. My opinion is that he never truly loved Lucy Gray in the real sense of the word. He was too busy making her into a star and a success and he never really got to know her, and when he did, he didn’t like what he found out. He was opposed to her “district” mindset and eventually did not trust her, which led to him trying to kill her.

All in all, the movie and the book are iconic, glossy and great. It’s the type of movie you’d like to watch when you’re craving villain backstory with glamour, and the type of book you’d re-read multiple times.

Check it out!