As a passionate fan of Hunger Games since the original quadrilogy, I had been waiting for this film for too long. I must say that I walked into the theater with no expectations because for a saga so important to my adolescence, such as Hunger Games, I didn't want to have any preconceptions.
But I state without reservations: I loved the film. However, I want to emphasize a point: it is not possible to compare it to the Hunger Games franchise starring Jennifer Lawrence because it will simply remain iconic forever. However, this implies that the story can be appreciated even without having seen the "previous" films.
"The Ballads of Songbirds and Snakes" focuses on the story of young Coriolanus Snow, played by Tom Blyth, before he becomes the famous and ruthless president of Panem in the previous Hunger Games series. To restore his family's honor and prove himself worthy of being part of the social elite, he decides to use Lucy Gray, played by Rachel Zegler, as a pawn in his plans. However, as the film progresses, the relationship between mentor and tribute begins to blur, leaving us with a brutal yet somewhat expected ending.
The film seamlessly intertwines with the events we see 64 years later with Katniss. We understand not only the evolution of the characters but especially the atmosphere surrounding the inhumane Hunger Games. Their flaws, but above all, their true function. This made the story full of heartbreaking events but especially very raw, in my opinion, on the level of Mockingjay Part 2.
As for the cast, it was chosen perfectly, with exceptional actors who truly brought the characters to life. Perhaps, if I have to be picky, I would have preferred the film to be divided into two parts because too many details from the book were condensed, alternating between a part set in Capitol City and one in District 12, giving the impression of watching different films.
Despite this, I was pleasantly impressed by Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes."