The Hunger Games series recently added a new film to its collection: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. A prequel to the well-known series, this movie follows the story of Coriolanus Snow – better known as President Snow in the original movies – as a mentor in the 10th Hunger Games to tribute Lucy Gray Baird. It takes place 64 years before the events of the original franchise. 

Snow, played by Tom Blyth, falls in love with Lucy Gray (Rachel Zegler) which makes for a complicated and intense plotline surrounded by desperation and questionable morals. 

Lindsay Binder, avid Hunger Games fan, spoke to me about why she thought the casting for the movie was so successful.

“They chose people who were familiar with what the books and films were and loved it before signing onto the project. That kind of pure joy that flowed through cast members like Rachel Zegler and Tom Blyth was what created the energy and chemistry throughout the film,” Binder said. 

Along with the casting, the storyline itself made for an interesting and engaging viewing experience. 

Julianna Musser, another fan of the movies, told me what stood out the most to her in terms of story.

“I thought the character arc of Snow was very well put together because I genuinely didn’t know how it was going to resolve itself,” Musser said. 

Binder, who had read the Songbirds and Snakes book as well as watched the movie, compared the two to me.

“The movie is a fabulous translation of the book but was missing certain bits and pieces that much of the audience wanted to see more of. Like for example, Lucy Gray and Coriolanus’ romance was way longer and drawn out in the book than it was in the film,” Binder explained.

This is a classic trend in movie adaptations of books – that certain aspects aren’t developed as well simply because there isn’t enough space or time to do it.  

Musser and Binder both said that they’d recommend this movie to anyone interested, even if they haven’t seen any of the other movies. Since it is a prequel, a viewer does not need to know any of the future plots in order to understand and enjoy the film. 

As someone who did, in fact, see the movie without watching the whole series before, I can definitely attest to that fact. The action, music, characters, and storyline were all so intriguing that I didn’t need any prior knowledge on what would happen in the film’s universe in the distant future of the world. 

Binder even recommends watching the movie multiple times, stating, “You’ll certainly find yourself hyper-examining every detail because there’s always something new to catch which makes the project so magical.”

Freshman Emily Myers is a Staff Writer. Her email is