Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Lovely Bones

Great. Now I have to read “The Lovely Bones”. Not to compare it to the movie, but to get some answers as to what happened in the movie and why.
On her way home from an after-school film club, Susie Salmon is lured into an underground hideout by George Harvey, and somewhere between there and Harvey’s house, she is murdered by him. Susie is trapped in a middle place between earth and heaven, where she meets other young girls who were victims of Harvey.
One of the girls, who calls herself Holly Golightly, tries to persuade Susie to move forward, but Susie stays where she is, where she watches her family deal with their loss. To be honest, they don’t do it very well, or as a family.
Her father opens his own investigation, suspecting everyone in the neighbourhood except the guilty party. His obsession drives his wife to move to Brazil, leaving her now unstable husband to look after Susie’s younger sister and even younger brother.
Susie see-saws between a delayed reaction of vengeance against Harvey, and having a blast in the inbetween with Holly where only their imaginations limit what they can do.
The movie starts well enough, gets confused in the middle, and the ending left me completely unsatisfied, posing more questions than answers. Coming from the same directing and writing team as the glorious “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, this just seems empty and bland in comparison.
As so often happened with “The Lord of the Rings movies”, when a scene stayed on a group of characters in one place, then moved to another group in another place entirely, you almost had to remind yourself that yes, those characters are still in. Oh yes, I forgot about Susie. Yet here it was not because the previous scene had been so emotionally stirring and the characters so involving.
A general problem with the characters is that no one talks to each other. I’ve seen people give up information quicker in “24”.
Saoirse Ronan as Susie is the best thing about the movie, but she is left to run around in what is nothing more than an overly-prettified CGI purgatory. Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz as Susie’s parents do what they can with the lacklustre script that barely seems to scratch the surface of the trauma of losing a child. Susan Sarandon as the grandmother hardly acknowledged Susie’s absence. Stanley Tucci’s Harvey was genuinely creepy, but that is all.
The one thing I am sure of after watching “The Lovely Bones”, is that “The Hobbit” can’t come quick enough.

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