Monday, 1 March 2010

The 'Not So' Lovely Bones.

After going to see the 'Lovely Bones' I couldn't help but write a review. Not my first review, but the first to appear on my blog, so here goes... Enjoy.

The Lovely Bones. What the hell? Its title doesn’t even make sense. A film that both fails to grasp what it's genre and target audience is, whilst boring it's audience with the worst CGI I have ever seen, does not belong on the big screen. However, the film did have some weight. The storyline that should have taken centre stage was completely undercut by the bizarre heaven sequences, that seemed to jump in at the worst possible times completely dragging the story down. The story focused on the tragic murder of 14 year old Susie Salmon and how her family dealt with it. The film is only a 12A which explains the high amount of insinuation, we don’t see the actual rapes or murders, we don’t see a lot of anything really. It’s not necessary though, hats off to the director for leaving it out without affecting the story. The entire film is narrated by the deceased Susie Salmon watching over her friends and family. We watch her Mother and Father fall apart, we see her sister’s determination to catch the murderer, we see her younger brother come to terms with the death in the only way he can understand it. We watch the boy she loves fall in love with another girl. All of which are interesting, riveting stories to follow. However alongside this we see, what I can only assume is the girl's ghost, navigating her way through her town, confusing forests, fields and seascapes. These landscapes are filled with enormous objects relating to her life. The imagery is there, the concept intelligent, but however not realised. Giant ships in bottles shattering against rocks, whilst her father destroys his hobby, enormous bouncing balls and flying hats, representing the murder of other girls, giant penguins and bracelet charms, showing the sensitive side of Susie’s personality. The ideas are there, but the delivery was somewhat laughable. We go from scenes that should be found in the weirdest horror films, to scenes that belong in Disney. Scenes of blood soaked bathrooms, with murder weapons and body parts, to happy Chinese girls on band stands.

The morale, if one can be derived, was completely misunderstood, I could see what message was trying to be put across, but it definitely wasn't reaching me, and I doubt any other audience members. In the penultimate scenes we see a congregation of rape victims in a field that is suppose to represent heaven. This is apparently the solution, a happy ending. I'm not feeling it. Sorry Peter Jackson, but this film is a travesty. So wait a second? Where are we? Is this a rom-com, a thriller, a horror, a children's fantasy? No, none of the above, all of the above. If I had an opportunity to time travel whilst in the cinema I would have used that opportunity to go back and beg Peter Jackson to stop making this film. Or at least chose a genre and stick to it. I understand that the responsibility to stay true to the book is there, however some things are made to be read, some things are made to be watched, The Lovely Bones, is definitely not the latter.

What punishment does the mass rapist/murderer receive then? Somehow he gets away with it, but meets his end in some sort of attempt at an ironic twist. I won’t give anything away, but a magic CGI icicle is involved. Yes, you heard right, a magic CGI icicle. So what happens to the innocents of the story? The grieving father gets his face pummelled and the murdered girl goes down a sink hole with disused toilets and dishwashers. How is this justice? Or is that the point? If so, why are we being showed, shocking attempted tear-jerkers, that come off offensive nonsensical rape victim heavens!? And the ending? It doesn't really have one… Oh, there is a possession too. Susie possesses a girl, at which point we assume she is going to use this opportunity to show somebody where her bones are being hidden, but no, instead she decides to use this opportunity to kiss the girl’s boyfriend… What the hell? He's cheating on his girlfriend with a ghost... Perhaps I am not understanding the film; it has definitely gone over my head.

On the positive the acting in the film is superb; the devastation of the murder really ages the characters terribly. The character of the rapist, played by friendly Stanley Tucci (The Devil Wears Prada) is exceptionally played. Just the right amount of ‘creepiness’ to make you feel on edge whenever he is in shot. The Grandma played by Susan Sarandon (Thelma & Louise) delivers a fantastic comedy role, holding the family together, with her adolescent alcoholism ways. So, to the point, would I recommend this? Despite everything I have said I actually would. Don't part with your cash to see it, wait till it comes on TV, and give it a watch. The best way to watch this film would be to watch the lives of the grieving families, and the down-to-earth Grandma, enjoy them, and every time you see a shimmer of CGI on the horizon, pop out for about five minutes.

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