THE REVIEW IN BRIEF
- It’s always nice to explore dystopian worlds and discover more about them, especially beloved sagas.
- Unfortunately, and despite the efforts, everything already seems a bit old-fashioned.
- Nice songs, eh, but I didn’t think I’d be on The Voice of Panem.
You know when you watch a dystopian and violent film that leaves you with an uncomfortable, slightly disturbing feeling? That’s what I felt when I saw the first one Hunger Games, many years ago. I remember that I had recently seen the episode of Black Mirror “15 Million Merits” and I had found the concept behind it Hunger Games something similar, that could get me as much as that episode had; and, in fact, he did it with the first film. This contrast – between entertainment show and death contest – for life, kept me glued then and intrigued a few days agoat the preview of the new beginning of the saga, in 2023, with Hunger Games – The Rime of the Nightingale and the Serpentin theaters since yesterday.
It is a story that takes place Panem in the year of the Lord…
It is both a spinoff and a prequel, excellent for those who loved the saga and also for those approaching the franchise for the first time (made above all with this purpose, I feel like saying). On the other hand, we are in the era in which we try to expand narrative universes to the maximumespecially those that have achieved box office and notoriety – and it is ironic, as Alanis Morissette would sing, that the new chapter of the saga is about precisely this.
Tenth Hunger Games, no one is watching it, what do we do? This is the premise that lays the foundation for The Rime of the Nightingale and the Serpent, in which we play the role of a very young Coriolanus Snow. I like to think that this review can also be read by those who haven’t seen the other chapters of the film, so I won’t spoil it. What happens if a show doesn’t generate engagement, as they say today? It is canceled from the schedule, the host is removed, or new ideas for the format are sought. Not even in a cruel dystopia like that of Panem does one get excited by banal fights between girls and boys gladiators, and therefore it’s time to find the right formula, the one that mixes violence and hope, hate and love.
3 is not the magic number
The film is divided into three chapters and tells three fundamental things in the saga: the Hunger Games, obviously, outside and inside the arena and how evil is born. Fans rejoice in rediscovering the immaculate vibe of the first chapter, its colors and photography; newcomers can enjoy the performances of Tom Blyth, Rachel Zegler, Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer and other names that you can easily find on Wikipedia.
But a new book from which to draw the story, a very respectable cast and resurrect the franchise to explore one of the most controversial characters in the saga, are enough ingredients to make the passion for Hunger Games? This is the only spoiler I’ll give you: no.
I suffer in saying these things, because basically I’m the one who puts The 100 among his favorite series despite all the technical problems of a CW series, and he falls in love with the walking red flags, but I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t tell you that The Rime of the Nightingale and the Serpent he could have done a lot but he didn’t succeedand despite the publishing industry in crisis and having pocketed bribes as happens with every review (I’m joking, sorry, I wanted to be ironic), I have to say why this prequel is beautiful but it doesn’t dance – but it sings.
…but did he do good things?
Let’s gloss over the CGI, because I mean, we’ve applauded worse shows; forget the fact that the last three films of the saga seemed a bit like the Marvel films of the dystopia of the poor and therefore this certainly couldn’t have been worse; However I would have liked a twist, a moment of more characterization of the characters, a final part with some rhythm– or capable of leaving us with the bitter taste of having witnessed the birth of evil.
Hunger Games he is the son of inspiration from Battle Royale, created to offer that extra level of disturbance – where the greatest violence is not dying beheaded, nor watching little boys and girls kill each other, but being pure and simple entertainment for a rich and bored population. It would serve as an allegory for today (even if we have now moved away from the rhetorical figure, given the global situation), but nothing. The first Hunger Games it is what this prequel competes with and pays the most homage to, and the whole first part works very well despite having already seen it; then the film rolls on and if you ask yourself two more questions, you’re left empty-handed.
Not only those who have already seen everything find themselves guessing the end, but literally everyone, even the theater staff in charge of anti-piracy control who are watching the audience and not the screen. It’s a shame, because with a little more characterization of the figure of Coriolanus and what he represents and his complexity, it would certainly have been on a par with the first– which in any case is not a masterpiece, but is certainly memorable.
The soundtrack is excellent, the tributes toHunger Games of 2012, the 1950s-style futuristic technology that winks at Fallout and the co-star’s singing performance Lucy Gray Baird, who surpasses poor Katniss in charisma – who in her defense was rightly horrified throughout her journey in the arena – and truly represents a cornerstone of this filmboth for young Coryo and for the audience. Hunger Games it’s a franchise with immense potential, but in this last chapter he himself is starving: not that there were many irons in the fire, after all.
The Hunger Games: The Ballad of the Nightingale and the Serpent is available in cinemas.
The Hunger Games – The Ballad of the Nightingale and the Serpent is a film to go and see if you are a fan of the saga, because in any case if you are a fan of something it can’t always be good for you and on the other hand it still remains an entertainment product decent for those who want to return to Panem (figuratively, of course). But the division into three chapters perhaps meant a lot in a short time; the failure to convey the complexity of Coriolanus Snow and the total lack of twists makes this film a discreet product. I would also like to comment as an additional product on the social strategy alongside the release of the film, which I found not very in line with the concept of dystopia. It’s true that in a world where we are witnessing a genocide between a cooking tweet and a request for help we can’t actually do worse than the reality we live in, however from a saga like The Hunger Games I expect the same disgust that I have tried watching the first chapter. Maybe it doesn’t work anymore precisely because the spectacularization of violence has become our everyday life. But what I am sure of is that he could have done much more – which he didn’t do. And who knows, maybe by narrating another character’s point of view, in another edition of The Hunger Games, we won’t be able to cause a scandal. Or, if it really has to remain a dystopia for teenagers, therefore very sweetened and with a love story in the middle, at least let us see a couple different from the classic formula.
The post first appeared on it.ign.com