Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Lovely Bones

I had the opportunity to see the "The Lovely Bones" today. Here is my opinion.

Suzie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) is our protagonist. The movie, (which is based on a book) is the story of her murder and how her family struggles to work though their heartbreak. The catch? Suzie isn't quite gone. She remains connected to this world, but not directly in it. She resides in a sort of glorified limbo, which is still connected to earth but shares not of its natural laws (Gravity etc.). In the film it is simply Referred to as "the in between" because she either in heaven nor hell.

The viewers are assured very early on that Suzie has a place in heaven for her as soon as her earthly affairs are sorted out. Here's where things begin to fall apart.

I didn't really mind the spiritual implications of the film, even if it was total tripe. I also didn't mind the whole "Ghost Whispers" element either. For me though, Suzie's "In between" was simply too bizarre. It was beautiful, I'll give it that much, but in a Tim Burton sort of way.

The film isolates between both worlds, with Suzie playing narrator. She tries to help her father (played by Mark Wahlberg) unravel the mystery of her death. The audience knows exactly what happened, causing the suspense element to suffer. Though the film shies away from graphic detail in order retain it's PG-13 rating, we're left with a pretty clear idea of what occurred. However, we are never told if she was raped.

So why don't I like the film? I can get past the strange spiritual element but that's not the only issue. The biggest quagmire is the story itself. The beginning is fine and it ends rather well to but everything in between feels off.

It reminded me of Lighting McQueen from "Cars" (a movie I love). Remember that scene where he refuses to change tires and winds up blowing all four in the final lap? That's exactly how this film goes, minus the dramatic finish. Everything just lopes along without direction.

It's a shame really. Peter Jackson has done some exceptional work in the past and I was disappointed to see him fail like this.

The strongest redeeming element was the acting. I'm no proper judge of anything, least of all acting, however I felt like every single character was believable. Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci (the murderer) and Saoirse Ronan all did outstanding jobs in my opinion. I'm looking forward to see what 15 year old Saoirse will do with her acting carrier. I loved her character. She pulled it of wonderfully. Hopefully we'll have the chance to see her in something more successful in the future.

So there is my Opinion on the film.



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