Good morning, everyone! Today I have something different; something at least I have never done before. Today I am going to share my thoughts on the movie adaptation of the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. Both were good, but, of course, I liked the book better. That is partially because there were some large changes in the movie that I was not fond of.
To start, I should mention that I saw the movie first. I had no idea Beautiful Creatures was a book when I saw it. I watched it several times, liked it, and decided that I wanted to read the book. I mean, if I liked the movie, why not try the book?
[Major spoilers in this post, if you haven't figured it out yet.]
So, I got the book, and right away I could tell that it was different. The dream was changed, all of them in fact. In the book, there are several, different dreams. All of the dreams had a realistic quality, what with the dirt in the sheets and the marks on his skin where she tried to reach out to him. I liked how the dreams in the novel showed how she might be lost to him, possibly by the Dark. However, in the movie, it was the same dream, repeated, and it didn't have to do with falling at all.
It is during this dream that book Ethan (book Ethan and movie Ethan are different) first mentions her smell. (I apologize: that sounds odd, but I don't know how else to put it.) I mean, the whole lemons-and-rosemary thing, to me, just makes Lena more, well, Lena.
Speaking of Lena, the Lena shown in the movie was not the same as the one in the book. I don't know if it's just the way that I'm viewing things, but it seems that the Lena in the book is more independent and has more of an "I-don't-care-what-you-think" and "fight-me" sort of attitude. She also had a necklace with a collection of things she's picked up over the years, and the fact that she doesn't have it in the movie just makes me think that the movie completely tears away a whole part of who Lena is.
While I admire the work that the writers went into fitting information into few enough scenes so that it fit into a single movie (imagine they made a part 1 and part 2?), I am, of course, upset with a few of the things that got cut. For instance, where was the garden with the lemon trees and all of those afternoons Lena and Ethan spent there? Or the part with magical opening of Mr.Wate's office (Mr.Wate is Ethan's father) and the flipping of pages?
Another thing that was probably done for the movie for time reasons was the whole "Sixteen Moons" song. I know that this was probably just a minor thing that wasn't really important, but, I don't know, I would have liked to see it included in the movie.
Something that was really upsetting to me (more than the song) was the cut of a few characters, such as Ryan and the Sisters, but overall Marian. I was upset when I found out that Amma wasn't originally the Caster librarian, and that a wonderful character was not included in the movie. I pretty much fell in love with Marian the moment I found out about her, and her passion for books and her connections with Ethan's mother makes her special to me. Her being written out is something I don't approve of.
The whole caster library thing really was changed, now that I think of it. I mean, the book's location was even changed! (Which is fine, I suppose: the ghost would have freaked me out had she been in the movie.)
Now, enough with the little things. (Sorry, Marian.) Let's talk about the ending. To me, the ending in the book and the ending in the movie are almost a part of two completely different stories. While I suppose it was nice to be surprised (I thought I already knew what the ending was going to be like going into the book), the fact that it was so largely changed troubled me. The whole part with Ethan's father...? Gone. The party? More like small family gathering. The part with her mother and the storm and about a billion other exciting things? Nope.
I actually found this to be rather interesting. For usually when I see books turned into movies, more action is added. But I just feel like it was subtracted here. I don't like how it was so dramatically changed, but I also like it. Allow me to explain: In a way, I like the simple yet powerful way that things are resolved in the movie. I think that it gives a haunting sort of quality, which I find to be a bit cool. But I admire the authors of the book for representing the struggles Lena is going through so much. (Which reminds me: where's all of Lena's screaming in Ethan's head?)
Overall, the movie adaptation is fine. I like it, it's fine. It's just that after reading the book, I suddenly see a whole lot of things I don't like about it.