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OPINION: What’s missing from “The Ballad Of Songbirds and Snakes”

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Canva Illustration by Grace Clarke

On this edition of Random Rants with Annemarie, I will be reviewing the newest “The Hunger Games” movie, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” as well as the original trilogy as a whole. I will also be discussing if I think it is a skip, stream or support. There are some aspects that can be considered spoilers, in the sense I will bring up plot points from the original trilogy as well as things from the book that I wish were featured in the movie. I will not be talking about the plot as a whole, more so a wish list of things that I wanted in there that weren’t, what I enjoyed, that kind of thing. So be warned!

Also, to review, when I do a movie review, I tend to like to separate it into three different categories: skip, stream or support. Skip is just not watching the movie entirely, Stream is just waiting for the movie to be on streaming services and watching it there and support is making the effort to go out to your local theater and support the theaters because the movie is just that good. I will always want you to support your local theaters, but I know sometimes that isn’t feasible, so the Support category is more so for if it is good enough to spend your time going to the theater experience.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get into the nitty gritty of it. This is 100% a support for me. Definitely go see it in theaters. I personally loved this movie. I think it really ties in with the original trilogy really well. It adds context to the original series, but it also is great as a standalone movie. It was also a great experience in theaters, with the stunning visuals and the surround sound of the songs played in the movie, it made you feel like you were in Panem. I do have a few things about the movie I didn’t like. Shocking, I know. 

I personally felt like the movie after the Games was rushed. I would have loved that even for a few scenes, they included Snow’s inner monologue because of how important it was in the books. If they didn’t want to do a voice over, maybe he could have a hallucination of himself saying his inner monologue, trying to get him to embrace his insanity. Or, maybe have a few scenes of him arguing with himself in the mirror. The one scene of him just absolutely losing it in the woods once Lucy Gray leaves just wasn’t enough for me to show his insanity.

His inner monologue was a huge part of the books too! It showed how much he despised Sejanus, how he thought Tigris was ugly but had an air about her that “invited abuse,” how he was constantly referring to Lucy Gray as a possession and so on. The inner monologue really showed how much of a monster he was right off the bat. Unless the director wanted to hide how monstrous he was and have the audience blinded by his charm just like the rest of the Capitol people, because if that was the intent…amazing job! I have seen people excusing the atrocities he commits throughout the series because in this movie he was “attractive” which baffles me. While yes, I do agree that he is conventionally attractive and it is fine to be attracted to the actor, please don’t turn a war criminal into a “babygirl” (yes I have actually heard this), I beg of you. I do not care how hot Tom Blyth is, you need to stop.

In regards to the entire series, please, please go read the books and the movies. Reading “The Hunger Games” was such a formative experience for me, and it will always hold a space in my heart. It is a commentary on the world as we know it today, and a haunting one at that. It would be impossible to not see some of the parallels between the society in the books to our own in the United States. At one point, it is even mentioned that it is supposed to be a post-apocalyptic version of the United States (without namedropping the United States), and the arena they hold the games in is eerily described like a football stadium. How the media reacted to the marketing of the original trilogy, which had a lot of focus on the Katniss, Peeta and Gale love triangle, was also so ironic because that is probably how the Capitol would have reacted. The big media today is literally just the Capitol. This series is so important, and I urge you greatly to read not just “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”, but every “The Hunger Games” book. You will not regret it.

Annemarie Karabinus is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Annemarie Karabinus, Photographer, Opinion Writer
Annemarie is a broadcast journalism major with a creative writing minor. She also is the Marketing Director at Black Squirrel Radio, a reporter for TV2's "the Blurb" and a cast member on TV2's 'All Systems Go." She is a photographer and opinion writer for Kentwired, and she hopes to one day be a news anchor on CNN. Contact her at [email protected]

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