Darn, I broke my streak of posting when I said I would! Oh well, it’s still Friday somewhere, right?
In February I saw the film adaptation of the Beautiful Creatures novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The film was only the first book, but there are no plans to make a sequel at the moment. This is a real shame, I think, because the books just got better and better. Though the changes they made in the film would make it difficult to recreate the events of the second book.
So this is going to be a review of the book and the movie, not as a compare and contrast, but just as two separate but related entities.
I’ll begin with the movie, because I enjoyed it a lot. Alden Ehrenreich is utterly charming as Ethan Wate. He’s gives Ethan a smile and accent to steal hearts. I have to admit that a lot of the appeal of this movie, for me, comes from Ethan and Lena’s bonding over books and the many literary mentions within the first half of the movie. I really enjoy witches/casters though, so that’s another like button of mine they hit.
There’s comedy, mystery, and supernatural action. It’s so much more than just a romance. I think that’s one of the reasons this movie didn’t do so well in theaters, from the posters and the trailers it seems they were trying to market this movie as something like Twilight. Which sucks, because Beautiful Creatures is much better than Twilight. The characters are deeper and more complex, the story is darker, and as I said, it isn’t entirely about the romance of these two young people.
One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Ethan is angry at Lena for “acting like a brat” because he gives voice to the moviegoers who might be annoyed with Lena’s attitude closer to the end of the movie. Ethan gives her a speech about what it means to be normal and human and that he’s angry because he cares about her. It’s a great speech to give someone when you actually just want to bitch slap them.
There is a point in the movie that is actually a little more heart rending than any scene in the first book of the series. I won’t spoil it, but it was, in my opinion, a really great twist, and it makes the ending much more satisfying than it would have been otherwise.
Ah, the ending. Some people have had issues with the climax/ending of the film, but I thought it was brilliant. It’s fairly simple and very surprising. It keeps the tension and then when the tension breaks, the heartbreak is still there.
So all in all, I liked the film, though I liked it more before I read the series, because if they wanted to make three or four movies then there were a few things they shouldn’t have changed in the film. As a one film thing though, it’s pretty entertaining and satisfying. I mean, just look at the cast, you’ve got the voice of Scar, Professor Trelawney, and Octavia Spencer. It doesn’t get much better than that.
After I saw this great film, I was hankering to read the books; you’ll notice they were at the top of my list. I’ve wanted to read these since February.
However, because I had seen the movie, the first book seemed a little slow to me. I knew what was going to happen, I knew who the characters were, and I knew how it would end.
That being said, it was a fairly good book. Ethan’s narration was funny, sarcastic, and just as charming as his film counterpart. There’s actually more supernatural stuff going on in the book than the movie and there’s more Ridley involved in the book, so anyone who liked Emmy Rossum’s character, you get more of her.
The one thing I had issues with was the ending. It gets really confusing because for the entirety of the novel, we’re getting Ethan’s point of view. Then something happens and the narrative switches to Lena for a chapter and then we’re back with Ethan. It probably confused me because of the movie and when something happened differently I didn’t understand what was going on. So if anyone who read the book before the movie wants to discuss how the end/climax went down, I’m totally game. This means there might be spoilers in the comments.
I understand why it had to switch to Lena’s point of view, because Ethan isn’t aware of what happened, but I still feel like there was something confusing in the way ‘Lena’ narrated it.
Basically Beautiful Creatures, movie and book are both good. The movie is better than expected and the novel was alright, but not as good as I wanted it to be.
Next Post: Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl