I’ve been a fan of the Hunger Games movie franchise since it began in 2012. And so, it was pretty exciting to see the trailer for the latest instalment of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. It was great to see actors I was not familiar with, portray fictional characters in an epic world, so thoughtfully and memorably.
I was very impressed with Tom Blyth’s acting and will want to see him in other upcoming films he’ll star in. His magnetic connection with Lucy Gray Baird, played by the talented songstress Rachel Zegler, was very believable.
Coriolanus Snow’s regressive character arc is emotionally affecting, as the audience witness the purity and empathetic nature he initially possessed, which then transforms into dangerous power, hatred and the turning away from justice.
Certain scenes are even more powerful because of the immense voice of Lucy Gray, and her strong need to trust Coriolanus. His descent into an anti-hero, then finally a villain as Gamemaker, is hurried and a little dissatisfying, but the rest of the movie is full of depth, nuance, and intrigue.
I really enjoyed Hunter Schafer’s character of Tigris, as well as Viola Davis playing Dr. Volumnia. Of course, Jason Schwartzman’s Lucretius was a laugh (even for all the wrong reasons), and Josh Andres Rivera’s character who sustained his moral decency and emotional courage was fascinating to see.
It is quite obvious that Francis Lawrence was still the director on this one, as his success in making dystopian action pieces jam packed with emotion, was transparent and resounding.
Themes in this movie that are so relevant and poignant include: TRUST, control, societal norms, faith in oneself and others, the status quo, self-knowledge and seemingly impossible love.
After watching this film, I thought to myself: I should’ve seen this in Imax.
This movie is a spectacle. Not only that, but a stirring spectacle full of heart.