Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Lovely Bones

My favourite film by Director Peter Jackson is Heavenly Creatures (regardless of the success of The Lord of the Rings), so when I read he had bought the rights to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones I was enthusiastic. Peter Jackson and The Lovely Bones seemed the right fit and wanted to see what he would do with this wonderful book.

The reviews for the movie have been mixed. I think there are two problems. One, people could not get The Lord of the Rings out of their heads and their expectations ran toward an epic. The other problem is the story does not follow the usual plot line for a rape/murder story. How it should go... innocent child is raped and murdered, everyone does everything to catch the perpetrator, the perpetrator is caught and justice is done.

That is not the story The Lovely Bones tells. It tells a better story.

When I read The Lovely Bones, I thought, this is a book about grief. How people cope with grief, how Suzie copes with the grief of being dead, how her family copes with her being dead.

There is a risk of seeing a movie after reading a book that has been enjoyed and happily the movie worked for me. But it took me to a different place. For me the story in the movie is about how our bodies are less important than how we live our lives and the love we leave behind.

This is not a catch a murderer story, and sadly I think the trailers may have led people to believe otherwise. If you like to delve deeper than the good guys catch the bad guys then I think this story - book and movie - are worth a look and a read.

1 comment:

'Ailina said...

You know, I think it's really interesting that a story can get such a wide range of reviews. I have a theory that reader personality has as much to do with the "quality" of a story as the story itself.

I'm a very patient, analytical reader. I've liked lots of books most everyone else didn't like (movies, too), but I think I tend to be more forgiving than the next reader, too. I can appreciate strong points simply for the strong points if the weak points aren't TOO weak. Know what I mean?

Haven't read The Lovely Bones yet, but you're the second person I've visited today who's written about it. I'm taking the hint.