There is something about "The Lovely Bones" that touches me deeply. I was crying in most parts of the movie and I just don't really get why. I guess it just unfolds and seeps in me a different kind of sadness, one that is beyond me.
First of all, Saoirse (Seer-suh) Ronan. She is amazingly, breathtakingly beautiful. Her big blue eyes sort of captures your attention throughout the movie. It's like, you just can't take your eyes off her, and this is coming from a girl who is known to love checking out hot dudes.
There is no doubt that Saoirse can act. She has been complimented for many of her roles previously and "The Lovely Bones" is just another testament of her talents. I believe in many ways, it is the connection with her purity, naivety and adolescence that makes me feel sad. Saoirse did a brilliant job with delivering her character, and making us feel the pain Susie Salmon is going through.
I didn't like Saoirse Ronan's character in "Atonement" but after "The Lovely Bones", I fell in love with the actress...
In my opinion, Saoirse Ronan's performance in Atonement wasn't as mesmerizing if compared to "The Lovely Bones"; so for me, "The Lovely Bones" has catapulted this young starlet into the galaxy of star and she is shining brightly as we speak. Personally, I really hope to see more of her and not Lindsay Lohan or Miley Cyrus, thank you very much.
Secondly, "The Lovely Bones" is presented in a very unique way. I love the way Susie Salmon narrates her life after her death. I think Saiorse did great with the voice over. It's not easy to convey emotions just through speech, but Saiorse did impress me there because I feel every word when she narrates. I feel her pain, her sorrow, her hatred...because if I were her, I'd be angry and sad too.
The storyline is really good. The story is about how 14-year-old Susie Salmon deals with the pain of realizing that she had been murdered and also, how she watched from above how her family dealt with the loss of her in the family.
She was stuck in the 'in-between', a place where one is between heaven and Earth because one doesn't want to move on. She is held back by hatred, by her love for her family and her crush.
She was angry with her murderer, who took everything away from her, and most of all, he took her life. She wanted revenge so badly, and she felt that he took away what she was before...in the 'in-between', she is so submerged in anger and hatred that she doesn't know who she is anymore.
But she was also really sadden seeing her family crush after losing her in their life. She struggled as she slowly watch her family recover from the pain of losing her. She soon realizes that the most important thing for her is not vengeance, but rather, seeing her family, the people she loves heal from a tragedy. That too her, in the end is the ultimate happiness that she seeks and that is what helped her move on to heaven.
I was exceptionally touched by Susie and her dad's relationship; I love the fact that he spent the time building those bottled ships (what do you call that??) with Suzie and the scene in which he smashes all those bottles after Suzie's death was THE MOST HEARTBREAKING scene for me. I also love how the director then brings in the scene in which we see large CGI ships crashing the stones by the shores - to fully give the impact of how the great the impact of losing a child is, or how painful it could be.
"There was one thing my murderer didn't understand; he didn't understand how much a father could love his child."
Mark Wahlberg did impressively as Susie's father. I never noticed Mark Wahlberg, though he is supposed to be famous in many ways. I wasn't at all captured by his acting until "The Lovely Bones". You know, he caught my full attention here. I think he portrayed a distraught dad very well but he also delivered as a loving husband and father at the beginning of the movie.
Rachel Weisz was a disappointment for me though. I think she could have been more striking but her portrayal as a mother was just so-so. Most of the time, I don't feel her presence in the movie - it doesn't create an impact, unlike Mark Wahlberg. But I believe it is so because the the story is more focused on a father-daughter perspective rather than a maternal one. So, it is understandable that Rachel Weisz doesn't get the moment the character needed.
The are many graphical elements in the movie that are very kind to the eyes. I believe that behind those graphics are metaphors waiting to be deciphered, but then I just couldn't get most of it. I was kinda lost at points in the movie but towards the end, I began to get what the whole message in the movie is.
Two obvious main themes behind the film are "hatred versus love" and "seeking vengeance versus accepting the truth and moving on."
Throughout the movie, I hated the murderer for what he did. I despise him and I so wish that Suzie could do something to get back at him, destroy him or something. I put myself in Suzie's shoes; I feel her sorrow because I know, if I were her, I would not be able to bear the hurt of watching my family members crumble while the murderer lives his life. Plus, my life has just began. I'm only 14 but he took my years away from me.
In the end, Susie had to choose between exposing her murderer's crime or getting her crush to kiss her. She chose her first kiss - love because at the end of the day, perhaps love is stronger that hate. Love prevails in the movie. If I were Suzie, I really don't know what I'd choose but most probably, I'll expose my murderer. Yes, I'm a b**** who's full of vengeance I guess. But the film enlightens me about the power of love. Though at first I chose to expose the murderer, I guess Suzie is right to choose her first kiss. It was the better decision...
Another special feeling the movie gave me was the thought that perhaps my grandpa was all the time watching us from above, just like Susie did, with her family. I try my best to hold back tears everytime I think of grandpa and the thought that he was watching over us is bittersweet. I wish he was here but then, maybe he has never left. I wish though that he is at a better place, just like Susie. The whole time I was watching the movie, I can't help but think of my grandfather.
"The Lovely Bones" also opened up another dimension of my perspective.
I'm used to watching "Criminal Minds", which focuses on the criminals and how they are punished at the end of the show by law. What "Criminal Minds" doesn't highlight is the decease's point of view and "The Lovely Bones" presents just that. When "Criminal Minds" try to debate whether justice prevails, "The Lovely Bones" put forward the idea that perhaps at the end, love does prevail sometimes.
The movie also suggests that sometimes, the best way to heal is to just move on.
For a film with such a deep meaning as foundation, the director or rather, the scriptwriter still manages to insert a few lines of humour. I guess the introduction of Susan Sarandon's grandmother character is to lighten up the tense situations a bit too. Generally, "The Lovely Bones" was indeed a lovely watch.
"These were the lovely bones that had grown around my absence: the connections — sometimes tenuous, sometimes made at great cost, but often magnificent — that happened after I was gone. And I began to see things in a way that let me hold the world without me in it. The events my death brought were merely the bones of a body that would become whole at some unpredictable time in the future. The price of what I came to see as this miraculous lifeless body had been my life."
This paragraph has brilliantly captured and summarized the essence of the whole story...and enough to tear me up because it made me wonder that perhaps, people never really do leave.
So I think Peter Jackson did a fantastic job bringing the book into life...
I recommend this movie to everyone who just love one good inspiring movie. I can't wait to get my hands on the book!