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The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

The Student News Site of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan

The Lance

Does Snow Land on Top?

A Review of The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Graphic by Mia Cariati and Angela Nipitella
Graphic by Mia Cariati and Angela Nipitella

From bludgeoning preteens to poisoning his school’s dean, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes’ Coriolanus Snow is a positively cut-throat villain. His dangerously good looks seem to only complement his devious actions and schemes. Up and coming actor Tom Blyth perfectly portrays a young President Snow. He is entitled, authoritarian, and villainous, and the audience opinion is unanimous: we can fix him! Snow is definitely swoon worthy, but is the film truly deserving of all the praise it has been getting on Tik Tok? Spoilers ahead–be warned! 

The movie has some stellar scenes, but does occasionally fall short. So let’s start with the bad. The movie decided to completely omit the close relationship Sejanus and Snow developed with the other Peacekeepers. In the novel, they gave each other nicknames, partied together, and truly became close companies. Omitting such a significant part of the novel made the movie feel shallow in comparison.

Another inconsistency occurs when Clemensia is bitten by the snakes. Her character disappears, and while Dr. Gaul never makes her fate clear, audiences also never learn what happened to her tribute, Reaper. Does he just not have a mentor? Is Clemensia replaced? We do see him in the games, but with his original mentor gone, was he at a disadvantage?  

Aside from these criticisms, there’s a lot the movie does right. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins is a whopping 528 pages. The movie was tasked with covering all this material in only a couple of hours. To truly capture the hatred Snow has for the lower-class districts, the movie makes a small change. The book originally has Snow reveal that his father’s death was the result of the first rebellion. An unknown rebel murdered his military general father, creating resentment towards any sort of rebellion in young Snow. In the movie, this is taken a step further, and it is revealed his father was murdered by a District 12 rebel. This not only foreshadows Snow’s future hatred for Katniss Everdeen, but it also carefully creates that strong sense of hatred in Snow without taking us through all the lengthy history.

The movie also does an amazing job at creating a complicated relationship between Snow and the audience. Without spoiling too much, we can say that in the beginning we root for him. While the inevitable arrives, we still hope his love for Lucy Gray is pure and will change things. In the end, we’re left with mixed emotions for our sweet Coriolanus. The surprisingly relatable yet totally unrelatable characteristics create a phenomenal look at the rise of a villain.   

For our final review: we would give it four stars, but Tom Blyth is just so dreamy that we are obliged to give it five.

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