Search This Blog

Monday, February 25, 2013

Beautiful Creatures:The Movie

Only two years ago, around this time, I was reviewing the novel, here, and now, Hollywood has come to the party. Lucky authors! It has been described as "the new Twilight", though both novel and film are seen from the boy's viewpoint, the heroine, Lena, being seen through his eyes.

Tonight I went to see the movie. This isn't a standard movie review, just the thoughts of someone who enjoyed the novel, if not enough to keep it and re-read. And I enjoyed the movie, though it was really brought home to me how much you have to cut when moving from book to film. Two important characters, Amma and Marion, were merged into one, but I didn't mind that too much - it gave Amma more to do, being both the town librarian and the housekeeper. The father didn't appear at all, though at the beginning, the young hero Ethan calls out to him. And that was okay, if a little strange, but if the father had appeared they would have had to go into the whole business of why he was in his study, supposedly writing a book, but really... Well, no spoilers for those who may still want to read it. And he had to get a mention, at least, or you'd be wondering why the boy seemed to be on his own. A bit strange, but okay.

But there were some things that had to be rushed through, such as the scene in the cemetery, where Amma is calling on the ancestors and then... what? Ridley, the Siren, was a disappointment. Not that the actress was no good, but that the character didn't have quite the oomph she had in the book, where she gets out of a car and all the boys are  under her spell - and what happened to the lollipops she sucked so sensuously in the novel? She did eat something unrecognisable, but simply put it in her mouth and swallowed.

The ending is somewhat different, though I won't go into detail here.

But the film was visually impressive and it was worth the price of the ticket just to see those old British veterans, Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, as Lena's uncle Macon and her evil mother Serafine. They acted rings around the younger cast members, IMO, though teenagers going to see it would probably not agree with me. ;-) Afterwards, at the tram stop, I chatted with a young Kiwi man who'd actually read the book, which, despite its male viewpoint, is really a girls' book. He had enjoyed the book enough to see the movie, which he also liked. Goes to show even an old teacher librarian like me can be mistaken!


Lan said...

I haven't read this one simply because it has been touted as Twilightesque. The special effects do look good based on the trailers but I don't think it's enough of draw to make me watch the movie. Glad others are enjoying it though!

Sue Bursztynski said...

I suspect this "new Twilight" thing is to sell more tickets to the movie because they've run out of Twilight books to film - and the book isn't remotely like Twilight, except there are two teenage lovers in a small town somewhere and the girl, in this case, has a weird family. I thought the novel Twilight boring, but this one I enjoyed. Not enough to keep it, but I liked it. It was seen from the boy's viewpoint, a big plus, and it had a sense of humour admittedly missing from the film and certainly missing from most of the YA paranormal romances the kids are devouring these days. Anyway, read my review, Lan! I can see, by your last two comments, that I'm going to have to persuade you to try a couple of books you haven't! ;-)