The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

The Nation's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper

The Simpsonian

Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
Letter to the Editor: In response to inaccessibility on campus
by Advocacy, Community, Education and Support (ACES), Special to The Simpsonian • March 1, 2024

Dear Editor, We write in response to an article published February 14, 2024, in The Simpsonian titled, “No disabled students need apply:...

Retraction and update: After Midnight review
Retraction and update: "After Midnight" review
by Maggie Fitzpatrick, Staff Reporter • February 28, 2024

In my previous review of the late-night show "After Midnight", I stated that comedian Matt Walsh, who was a guest on the show, is “a prominent...

SCTV 2/28/24
by Aaron Wilkins and Sam HyingFebruary 28, 2024

Review: Is the new Hunger Games worth the Watch?


 I am not ashamed to admit that Katniss Everdeen’s iconic braid is one I spent countless hours trying to perfect in middle school.

   The key word there is “trying.”

   The “Hunger Games” trilogy was one I loved. I remember the frustration that the first book did not fully match the first movie, but I still had a love for both.

   When I heard about the newest Hunger Games movie, “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes,” I was very critical before watching it. There has not been any hype built around the release. I might live under a rock, but I had only heard about the movie a couple of days before it hit theaters when my roommate told me about it. To me, the storyline seemed well finished when my love started dying out for the series eight years ago when I saw the last movie. 

   “Ballad”, directed by Francis Lawerence, is a prequel to the other movies, following Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) articulating how a character we already know, President Snow, came to be. 

   I was not thrilled about the initial storyline because I felt like I had a lack of connection to Snow as a character in the other movies. Why would I care about learning about the ruthless, cold-hearted and manipulative man?

   In the movie, he and his fellow Capitol students are assigned as the first mentors for tributes in the 10th annual Hunger Games.

   Snow was given the tall task of mentoring the District 12 female tribute, Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), who is a musician with a group called “The Covey”. Her wish is to survive without becoming a murderer. From the moment the characters meet, the struggles of balancing love and power become evident. 

   With the film set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen’s games, the journey of how the Hunger Games came to be is witnessed and somehow more gruesome than the others. 

   The first head game makers, Volumina Gaul (Viola Davis) and Casca Highbottom (Peter Dinklage), the creators of the games themselves, treat the district children as zoo animals. This scene and the character of Lucretius ‘Lucky’ Flickerman (Jason Schwartzman) reminded me of the Ringling Brothers, given the hairstyle and all. 

   It also is a contrast to the added chaos of the “celebrity” treatment tributes get when given the first glance of Snow controlling the people of Panem. 

    With the plot being focused on President Snow, again, with no redeeming qualities, young Coriolanus tip-toes the line between good and evil, making there a lack of a clear “hero” within the film. As an audience, there is the ability to see the struggle of ethics, where the power-hungry, manipulative nature emerges. 

   There is also a bit of a “love story”  (if you can even call it that), which is another interesting concept. 

   After watching, the movie was well done overall and made me think. There were many little details and references throughout that connect this movie to culture as well as the other movies. 

   The movie is well worth the watch and a must-watch for Hunger Games fans, but with the darker story, lack of heroism and higher stakes of the movie, I personally am likely to not watch the movie again. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maddie Hays, Sports Editor

Comments (0)

All The Simpsonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest