Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beautiful Creatures (movie based on a book)

I recently saw Beautiful Creatures, based on the popular YA series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. There are currently 4 books in the series, and I have heard great things about them in the blogger world. My boyfriend (not a YA fan) also saw the trailer and declared that it looked interesting and not too much like a "chick flick". I'm not a huge fan of overly mushy movies either, so it seemed like a win-win situation.

I walked out of the film feeling a little underwhelmed and a little confused. Now, I haven't read the books yet, so I don't know how the movie compares to the series. However, something got lost in the transition to the big screen. I would, however, still describe the movie as good. Not great, but not horrible. The film held my interest, and it was visually stunning, especially the scenes in the library and in the Ravenwood home. The staircase in particular, was so beautiful. If you see the film, you will notice that it doesn't look the same in each scene :)

I liked that this book turned the recent YA trend on its head, in that the woman was the supernatural creature. Although as a girl, I enjoy stories with a female protagonist, I get frustrated when the love story takes precedence. There are few YA series where I actually root for the main couple (the big exception being the Harry Potter books where Ginny actually had a personality <3). It just seems that once the boy comes into the picture, the girl gets overly focused on him and not her main goal. Again, this isn't always the case, but it seems to be a big trend (I blame a certain vampire series...). In Beautiful Creatures, Lena remained very interesting to me despite the romance. I think this was because as a supernatural creature, she didn't seem to need saving all the time.

The fact that Lena was a witch instead of a vampire or some other more common supernatural creature was also an excellent choice. Unfortunately, it made me expect something like The Craft, and I was a little disappointed. I also loved most of the characters. The actors playing Lena and Ethan were great. I also liked her family, particularly Macon (Jeremy Irons!) and Ridley. Amma, the librarian (with more to her than meets the eye...) who was played by the supremely talented and lovely Viola Davis, was another favorite. I wish there was a little more diversity to the cast, but I won't open that can of worms for now, though (damn you Hollywood!).

The ending of the movie is what killed it for me a little. It irritated me and confused me. I don't want to give everything away, but it kind of pushed a reset button for the film, and I hate when that happens. I was hoping for Ethan's ... let's just call it a "situation",  to continue in the second film. I have heard the book ending was better. Anyway, the way they resolved things left me very confused. If there is a second film, I will probably just see it when it's released on DVD. In the meantime, I look forward to reading the series. Books are almost always better than the movies, anyway.

To sum up, great concept, somewhat mediocre execution, time to read some more :)

Readers, what are your thoughts on the movie? Comment and let me know!


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