Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Lovely Bones, Lovely Film?
I viewed the new Peter Jackson film "Lovely Bones" recently. My initial reaction to the movie was "pretty, but do I keep it with me?"
There are movies audiences watch that they just, you know, watch. Then there's movies audiences watch that they keep with them. They buy it on DVD or Blu Ray and re-watch it several times whether it's to share it with friends and family or during a rainy day when one is not motivated to do much. Or they dissect it. I love to dissect a film.
During my viewing of "Lovely Bones" I was instantly hooked to these characters and their world. I feel so five years ago though. My friends have been hooked on the original novel by Rape Victim Survivor, Alice Sebold, for awhile now. Sometimes I can look like such a poser.
Set in more innocent time, a time before digital cameras, (rolls of film? gasp) "Lovely Bones" deals with the death of it's main character, Susie Salmon, (Saoirse Ronan) and how it affects those who have been touched by her whilst she was alive. Kind of like "Dead Like Me." The movie goes back and forth from Susie in the world of the afterlife, to the aftermath of her death. Hmmm.... The Afterlife to the Aftermath. I bet that could've been an alternate title. I really miss "Dead Like Me."
After watching the movie I realized that during the course of my viewing, I laughed, I cried, I screamed, I called my mom to tell her I love her and I ended up leaving the movie kind of pissed. I know, what a mix huh?
This movie has very nice touches of humor despite it's risky subject matter. I mean, Susie gets rape and killed, the killer (played by Stanley Tucci) lives on the same street as her family and his "risky subject matter psyche" is somewhat explored. There's also a very effective scene of suspense shown in the trailers that involves Susie's sister and the killer, but I'm not one for spoilers so that's all I'm saying on that.
Susan Sarandon is cast in the movie as Susie's really cool, really drunk grandmother. She's funny and outrageous but never unbelievable.
Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz play Susie's parents effectively. Rose McIver plays Susie's younger sister Lindsey, nearly stealing the show from our main female lead. I'm going to put a smiley face here :-)
I really only had one gripe with the film, and that was cleared up upon reading the book and I think it's the one thing that keeps it from being a true classic in my own personal movie collection at least.
I prefer my movies based off books to be just that: movies that are based on books. I've said this many times and I feel like I have to keep saying it, or in this case typing it: Film is a different medium. "Lovely Bones" should be able to stand on it's own, and it doesn't. Peter Jackson handles the material very well, but it's just that one part that bugs the hell out of me. Of course it's a part I won't reveal here. Don't you hate when a movie is spoiled for you? Okay I'll spoil it:
Ruth, Susie's friend who can totally see her ghost self, seems to be close to finding Susie's body which is about to be dumped into a hole that is about to be filled in with cement. Susies posses her body and has a moment with Ray, a boy she had a crush when she was alive. Ray and Susie kiss and Susie leaves Ruths body. That's at least what I thought happened. I was confused. Later on, the killer who runs off scott free, gets killed in an accident involving a cliff, a slippery ground and conveniently placed icicles.
The book gave me the impression that while in Ruth's body, Susie could have told everyone where her body was, but what could would it have done? Who would believe her? Would it alienate Ruth even more than she was alienated. Being in Ray's arms, and knowing that Ray knew it was her, she had sex with him, and she left, knowing that everyone she left behind was finally at peace, just as she was. Her killer was identified, and not arrested, but did meet a gruesome end that Susie's spirit witness. It was implied that Susie's spirit caused the chain reaction that killed him. Sweet justice. That makes sense now.
(end spoiler warning)
Now that that's out of my system, I am definately going to buy this movie on Blu Ray when it's released and then buy subsequent versions of that Blu Ray or whatever next generation of movie viewing device that will be marketed to the "HOME OF THE FUTURE."
So what do you think? Lovely Bones, Lovely Film?