Hey Film Buffs and Bibliophiles!
Guess who finally got around to watching “Beautiful Creatures”? Yep, yours truly – the last person on earth to see this supernatural romance flick, or so it feels! I know, I know, the movie’s been out for ages (since 2013, if we’re counting), but in my defense, my “To-Watch” list is about as long as the Great Wall of China. But enough about my procrastination skills; let’s dive into the mystical world of Gatlin, South Carolina!
First off, let’s talk about the Gothic Southern atmosphere – it’s like stepping into a humid, sultry daydream with a side of sweet tea and secrets. There’s a small-town charm in “Beautiful Creatures” that’s hard to miss, and it does a bang-up job of setting the stage for a tale of witchcraft, dark curses, and teenage angst.
The story follows Ethan Wate (played by Alden Ehrenreich), our all-too-human protagonist with a voracious appetite for books and a gnawing desire to escape the mundanity of his hometown. Enter Lena Duchannes (the ethereal Alice Englert), the new girl with the permanent storm cloud above her head (quite literally, at times). She’s not just any high school outcast – she’s a “Caster” (don’t call her a witch, it’s passé), and she’s counting down the days to her sixteenth birthday, when her powers will be claimed for either the Light or the Dark.
The chemistry between Ethan and Lena is like a live wire, full of sparks and the promise of young love – but with a supernatural twist. They’re the heart of the film, and their relationship offers a cozy respite from the typical teen love saga. Sure, we’ve seen the “forbidden love” trope a zillion times, but there’s something genuinely sweet about their bond that makes you root for them, despite the looming, possibly apocalyptic, obstacles.
Can we talk about the supporting cast for a sec? Emmy Rossum vamps it up as Ridley, Lena’s siren cousin, bringing all the deliciously wicked fun every time she struts into a scene. And then there’s the powerhouse duo, Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson, who chew the scenery as mysterious Caster patriarch Macon Ravenwood and religious zealot Mrs. Lincoln, respectively. Viola Davis as Amma is the glue that holds the mortal realm together, and her presence alone gives the film a gravitas that it leans on heavily.
The film takes some creative liberties that deviate from the beloved book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, which might ruffle some feathers if you’re a die-hard fan of the series. The essence is still there, but like any adaptation, some of the nuances get lost in translation from page to screen. But hey, it’s Hollywood, right? Changes are part of the package deal.
Director Richard LaGravenese gives us a visual feast with some pretty slick CGI, from spinning dinner tables to mystical libraries that made the book nerd in me squeal with joy. However, sometimes the special effects felt like they were compensating for a script that lacked a bit of the book’s depth.
Overall, “Beautiful Creatures” is a cinematic comfort food. It’s got romance, magic, and a dash of Southern Gothic flair that’s as rare as a blue moon. It might not be the most original film under the sun (or the moon, in this case), but it’s a fun ride if you’re willing to suspend your disbelief and just enjoy the magic.
So, grab your popcorn and maybe a spell book (just in case), and settle in for “Beautiful Creatures.” It’s a bewitching tale that reminds us that the real magic is, sometimes, just allowing yourself to enjoy the ride.
‘Til next time, keep those reels rolling!
Peace & Popcorn,