The Lovely Bones

by - Wednesday, January 06, 2010

currently: relaxing in bed, even though it's 1:30pm in the afternoon.



So I went on a hot date with my boyfriend (:P) to see The Lovely Bones, Peter Jackson's newest movie.

I haven't actually read the book (I've only read the first chapter for a class exercise a couple of years ago) but I have to say from what I knew before, and after seeing the film, I still really want to read the book.

The introduction is completely differnet to the introduction of the book. To me, the book's introduction is iconic, and its the same introduction used in all the trailers.
"My name is Salmon, like the fish. First name Susie."
For the film to not have this introduction was a bit weird to me. The first part of dialogue did however give a setting to the scene and mood without going into the real plot, which I think is good because you're not rushed into the storyline too fast. Establishing gets you aware and become attached to the certain characters. Would you really want to jump straight into the murder when you've got 2 or so hours to watch the film?

Susie Salmon (played by Saoirse Ronan from 'Atonement') is great in this film, she brings a real innocence and child-like playfulness that is instantly likeable. And her eyes are just something that is real distinct about her (they're incredibly blue in the film.) I have to admit the acting seemed a little more mature than I expected from a supposed 14 year old character, but again, I probably have to read the book to know if this was what was intended.

One of the main issues of the film is the fact that the rape scene is never shown, but I think this is a good thing. Film really shouldn't have to show it like a book describes it, the advantage of film is that only suggesting it will give enough emotion to the audience. In one of Mr Harvey's flashbacks with a series of cuts showing her face, her hat, her gloves, and her knees already gave me a sense of "the skeevys" (I love that word :P) In saying that, Stanley Tucci who played Harvey (I had no idea he was Nigel in 'The Devil Wears Prada' till now) seriously gave a good performance that creeped me.

My boyfriend (who studied the Lovely Bones novel) said that the book was much better than the movie, which is always expected. I think thats because the book can go into more detail with the characters and their backstories, which a 2-3 hour film with a heavy detailed plot can't do. So I felt that a lot of the supporting characters (members of the family, her friends and Ray) were kinda ignored a bit in the film, I expected to see the brother of Susie to have an encounter with her, but he only speaks of it for a moment with the Dad, and only talks about to the Grandmother about Susie being in the "inbetween." I would have preferred seeing how he would have coped with it.

Also would have preferred seeing more of the Grandmother too. She brought the humour of the film, but it would have been nice to see her character struggle with the loss too which that didn't really seem to happen.

However, the sequence of the ship bottles breaking by her father was a fantastic scene, and how this contrasted with the ships crashing in Susie's world. That was really heavy with emotion I felt. Infact, this movie has a number of sad parts, but for me the sadness came with most of the family dealing with losing Susie, rather than Susie in her own pain.

Visually the graphics are good, though some parts seemed to be flaunting it for the sake of cool graphics rather than bringing something to life. I was more amused with the little Peter Jackson quirks, like seeing a book of JRR Tolken's Lord of the Rings in a book shop window in the beginning of the film (where Susie's watching her crush Ray), and Peter Jackson holding up a camera while Susie's dad is getting the last roll of film developed in the Kodak shop. That attention to detail by Jackson is what makes his films a bit more fun, and me a bit more obsessed with finding them (I was a media student. haha.)

I really do suggest you see it, I think if you enjoyed Heavenly Creatures by Peter Jackson, this film is almost along the same sort of wave length. However, part of me is still figuring that the book may satisfy me more, specifically what resulted of Mr Harvey. I didn't like that too much.

But overall, a pretty good film. If I had to rate it...maybe 3.5 (bordering on 4) out of 5.

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