The first Hunger Games resurgence started when the first trailer for Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was released. The second is now as the movie has opened. The problem with both is it brings forth the people that have the media literacy of bread. So I will reiterate once again, nearly no art exists for entertainment. Most art has a message, ALL dystopian art is commentary and you are supposed to understand the themes it's spoon feeding to you. If you are the part of the fanbase asking for more games, you are the problem and you need to get that worked out with a licensed healthcare professional. That said, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes was a wonderful and terrifying look at what power can do to people, the choices between right and wrong and what people will do to survive.
First off I want to address the complaint that Lucy had an accent. I beg you to look at a map of Panem (which is so obviously the US, good lord please some of you need to open a book) and see that district 12 where Lucy’s covey landed is in the Appalachian south - she would have an accent. Also she was a part of a covey and they could have traveled from literally anywhere that had that accent. ALSO it's perfectly reasonable that by the 74th Hunger Games that if Lucy’s covey were the only people with accents in district 12 that it would have died out.
Second of all the “there was too much singing” complaint….the BALLAD of SONGBIRDS and snakes….that is all.
The movies did a really good job of showing the brutality of the games in the original series but for some reason this one felt darker. It was so well done I really couldn’t watch parts of it and the parts I did watch made me sick to my stomach. Which is exactly the point, so well done.
Rachel Zegler’s casting also could not have been more perfect from her acting to her accent to her absolutely stunningly gorgeous voice. There was no better choice for Lucy Grey and she did a truly incredible job.
Now the part I personally care the most about, the story. The story did an incredible job of communicating the theme of evil vs good. Is evil born in you or is it a choice? Collins depicts it as a clear series of choices, it might not be one choice but all it takes is one choice to set you past the point of no return. For Snow I think that choice was turning against Sejanus. Now he had clearly had some horrendous moral choices before that but I think getting Sejanus killed was the final straw. Now the story is also great with showing us how morality is (or can be) fluid when faced with literal death. When Coral died she said “I can’t have killed the others for nothing”. The guilt the Hunger Games tributes held even when faced with their own death proved that even when you do terrible things to survive you can still remain “good”. Nicely juxtaposed with Snow beating that boy to death, after he was already downed. That last blow was so clearly not necessary but he liked the way it felt, evil. Lucy Grey, Reaper, and Tigres are all wonderful examples of remaining good through terrible circumstances.
Overall it was an incredible, thought provoking movie that gave us brilliant social commentary (which is the only way to enjoy this movie, if you ignore the commentary you ignore the films very purpose and you are the exact reason genocide and slavery still exist and you need to get it together). I would give the movie a 10/10 but because it was a difficult watch it gets a 9.5/10.