I love it when a book I have read gets made into a movie, mainly so I can:
a) feel superior when people see the movie without having read it
b) see the movie and spend ages comparing it to the book.
Today Toong and I went to see ‘The Lovely Bones’. I have read the book numerous times and always quite thoroughly enjoy it. Sure, some parts are kinda bizarre, but overall it’s a good read with a devastating message.
I had heard different reviews from different people about the movie; some said it was terrible, others said it was amazing, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. As usual, it’s a good, if not excellent, stand-alone movie, but if you compare it to the book, it’s never going to win.
As I mentioned above, I love spending ages comparing movies to books, so I’m going to review ‘The Lovely Bones’ by comparing what the movie does, and doesn’t do, well, in accordance to what happens in the book.
What It Does Well:
- Teach you never to go into a random hole with your creepy neighbour.
- Shows the effect Susie’s death has on her father amazingly well
- Show Susie’s “Earth Departure” in an extremely powerful manner
- Portray Mr. Harvey perfectly
- Susan Sarandon as Grandma Lynn was a perfect casting. I think she’s almost my favourite character.
- Portray the Seventy’s perfectly. According to my mum, anyway.
- The way Susie finds out who the other victims are is fantastic. It makes you want to cry.
What It Doesn’t Do So Well:
- The Heaven in the movie was totally different, in a bad way (my opinion). In the book it’s described as being like a high school crossed with a town, with houses and people and everything you could want. In the movie, it’s this bizarre world with lots of like lakes and grass and nature.
- Holly. In the book, she becomes Susie’s friend after arriving in Heaven on the same day. In the movie, she’s a cross between herself and Franny (book character) who was killed years previously by Mr. Harvey.
- It leaves out the memorials.
- The effect Susie’s death has on her mother is almost ignored
- Ruth and Ray are just random side characters instead of the important main characters they should be
- The Heckler’s aren’t in it. Well, Samuel is for like two seconds, but still.
- The bit where Susie comes back to Earth is weird. But it’s weirder in the book. I’m still putting this in the ‘bad’ section though, because it didn’t contribute to the movie storyline at all, it would have just confused people who haven’t read the book (the whole situation with Ruth etc. is explained in there).
- It’s set over a shorter period of time. I’m not actually sure what to think of this, like whether I like it or not.
See, I’m kind of torn with what I’m saying. I loved the movie, but it’s no ‘The Lovely Bones’ novel. This review makes it seem like I didn’t like it, but don’t get me wrong. So far it’s my favourite movie of the year (haha). In all seriousness, I really enjoyed it, and you should definitely go and see it too. If you haven’t read the book, you really should. In some ways it’s sad and disturbing, but the overall message and story is beautiful and amazing.
My mum says she’d give it 4/5, but I’m still really not sure. Maybe 3.5/5. I really need to stop re-reading books before I see their movies. Maybe it would be better if they weren’t so fresh in my mind…
frangipani princess xoxo