Through the Eyes of a Nerd: Beautiful Creatures

Through the Eyes of a Nerd

So, this week I’m looking at the recently released Beautiful Creatures. Admittedly again, this is another book series I haven’t read before reading the book. However my best friend’s sister gave me a few heads up notes on the differences since she’s read them all. It has made me want to read the books though.

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures is a film I have very mixed thoughts about, I was looking forward to going to see it because the trailer looks absolutely stunning. However I came away from the film feeling ever so slightly disappointed. I have to say the costume and effects I thought were pretty fabulous, that everything aesthetically the film was brilliant.

But… then the characters began speaking and for the whole film I got a southern American accent. And personally it’s not my favourite thing, but the fact that at moments it would be really emphasised and then the next moment it would be just there annoyed me because it felt like they were only remembering to do the accent for certain moments. However I have to say Emma Thompson put on a fabulous accent for her part!

Main Characters

Beautiful Creatures Lena

Lena is a character that annoyed at times. I felt that she was too wrapped up in the ‘poor me’ attitude and being depressed and not until the end did she seem to take responsibility and power. Ultimately it was rather sad what happened, but I appreciated her character a great deal more for her actions.

Still, I didn’t like the way she shut out Ethan. He seemed to be there for her and she pushed him out too much.

She does look rather fabulous in her dress though and I thought she stepped into her role by the end. In terms of acting, I thought Alice Englert played a good role.

The obsession lied with would she be a good witch or a bad witch that was really the focus of the film and I certainly liked this take on witches. However it’s slightly misogynist that the female witches have no choice in whether they are good or bad it depends upon their “inner” being. Still it made for some tension and hype throughout the novel. For Lena who is supposed to be an all powerful witch though, we didn’t seem that much of it.

Ethan

Ethan was actually one of my favourite characters. He seemed to push Lena and really cared for her. I liked that he fought for what he wanted and the actor Alden Ehrenreich played a really good part.

It was interesting to see his reactions as a human dragged into the world of witches and his character wasn’t overwhelmed by this. I felt that he was a particularly strong male character and I liked that about him.

Favourite Scene

One of my favourite scenes from the movie where the visual effects were particularly cool, comes when Ethan is under control of the ‘wicked’ cousin and they’re all sat at the dinner table. If you’ve seen the trailer, it’s the part where the table begins to spin around and his facial expressions make me laugh quite a lot. It might be a little corny, but after all it is witchcraft and I tend to find it hard to take the whole thing overly serious.

Dinner table scene

Family dinners are taken to a whole new level in Beautiful Creatures, so if you think your family is bad, definitely check out this scene because it doesn’t quite cover ‘bad’. This however is the first time I see Lena as beginning to take control of her life and be a little more assertive.

Villains

The big bad cousin is Beautiful Creatures craxy ladyRidley and when she turned up in her outfit I was pretty surprised because it’s see through. I guess this is meant to reflect her character and the seductress she is.

I felt like by the end she fizzled out in her bad ass status and she could have tried to retain the edge a little more.

Overall I thought her character was pretty sassy, but she had nothing on the evil workings of Emma Thompson who really played up the evil hag character to a ‘t’.

It seems that I rarely like the characters Emma Thompson takes on. Beautiful Creatures Mrs LincolnIt’s not different for her character as Mrs Lincoln, because she’s pretty horrible all around and she becomes part of the plot twist, which isn’t really that unexpected.  However I have to say I love the effect of her poster being surrounded by the dark purple showing the darkness of her character.

Effects etc.

I liked the dream sequences and flashbacks within Beautiful Creatures. It really added to the witch element of the storyline, and it built up the history of the story too. I felt that there were focused on for too long, although more could have been made out of the dream sequences as they did seem to form the foundations of the romance between Lena and Ethan.

The witchcraft scenes worked pretty well, and I thought some of the effects that took place disorientated you and it really worked to mess with the mind. This worked really well for me because I was mind-boggled but I liked working it all out and the little surprises made the plot twists work well because I did not expect them.

Romance and the Ending

The romance is kind of like insta-love and the meadow scene kind of had me thinking ‘Twilight’, ‘Twilight’. However there were some very cute moments between the pair, but I think the stronger of the two in the relationship was Ethan in his fighting for their relationship. He pushed Lena whilst she kind of gave up on things.

However I felt the ending whilst some might see as a bit of a happy ending, I was more feeling a crazy ladylittle let down and hopeless with. It didn’t seem to give a hopefully ending. I don’t believe they’ll be making any more films as according to my friend’s sister they combine the ending of the last few films to make one, whilst just focusing on the plot of the first film.

Conclusion

In conclusion I enjoyed Beautiful Creatures and I’d probably watch it again, but it’s not my favourite film of the year. I’m interested to read the book and see the kind of plot changes that we got. If you’re a fan of witches and Twilight, you’ll probably like this one too as it seems to be following the cult of YA books into films. The acting is good, but nothing outstanding. The strength for me lay within the visual effects and the costumes which were particularly fancy by the end of the film with dresses like that which look just stunning!

Check out Alisa Selene’s fabulous comparison of book and movie over at Picture Me Reading HERE! And Laura’s thoughts over at Books, Writing, Tea here.

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28 Comments

Filed under Through the Eyes of a Nerd

28 responses to “Through the Eyes of a Nerd: Beautiful Creatures

  1. Glad you enjoyed but sorry it was a bit disappointing.
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  2. As a fan of the Beautiful Creatures series, I still feel kinda iffy about the movie, too. They changed several things (like the ENDING, HELLO) that really caught me off-guard and kind of… did a detriment to the story, in my opinion.

    For example, the part you found misogynistic, how only the women can turn evil/good based on their “true nature”? That is NOT the way it happened in the book. In the book, it was a curse on the women of the family, directly because of something that an ancestor had done. It made much more sense and was less sexist, imo.

    It is good to know that you understood and liked the movie overall, though. The whole time I was watching it, it seemed to vague that I thought perhaps only people who’d read the book(s) would be able to understand some things.

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      I mean they still have the curse in the film, but I’m glad the book is less sexist!

      To hear you are a fan encourages me to read the books and get a whole other view! 🙂

  3. I read the book ages ago (I can barely remember what happens), but I wasn’t in love with it. Still, I guess I’m curious enough to want to watch this one day (maybe when it’s on DVD), and especially as Emma Thompson is in it. You’re not the first person to mention the accent. That sounds like the sort of thing that might frustrate me. I’ll be sure not to expect too much from this film though. Great review!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Thank you, Sam. Yeah, definitely something I recommend for DVD then you can sit down when you have spare time and not fork out a fortune at the cinema to watch it!

  4. Uh-oh. Movie Lena sounds a lot like how I found Book Lena- too occupied with moping about her problems instead of doing something about them. I’ve only read the first book so far and thought it was OK, though it didn’t make me want to run to the theater to see the movie. I’ll just wait for it to come out on DVD. Great movie review!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Exactly how Movie Lena is! Doesn’t sound good for the book then. Sounds like a plan and what a few people have said! 🙂

  5. This is a great review really thorough and detailed..I love how you use images! 🙂

  6. Pingback: From Book To Movie: Beautiful Creatures (2013) | Picture Me Reading

  7. I’m so glad you enjoyed this movie! I love the trailer, although I haven’t heard the best of reviews about the book. Still, I’m willing to give this a shot. Great review, Livvy! 😀

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Thanks, Keertana. Yes, it was good even though parts were brilliant. I hope you enjoy the film too! 🙂

  8. I haven’t heard the best things about this movie, which is a shame because too often the people who turn books into movies get it wrong! And I have heard that Ridley isn’t anything like she is in the books, which makes me wonder why? I do like the series, it’s not the best, but the books are ok!

    Great movie review!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Thanks, Mandee. I’m not sure why they change things so much when they move to movie… I guess that thought will always elude us.

  9. This is another great post Livvy, I wasn’t the hugest fan of Beautiful Creatures the book, so had no real intention to watch this film. But I saw a trailer the other day and it does look fantastic. The special effects and especially the costume looks amazing, I think the Southern American accent would bug the heck out of me though!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Thanks, Jasprit! 🙂

      Yes, they did bug the heck out of me, I just tried to phrase it so I didn’t offend anybody. Still I think the film had enough fun stuff to make it entertaining! 🙂

  10. I guess I’m the only one who hasn’t jumped on this train yet! I haven’t read the books and I haven’t seen the movie. I do like the stills I saw so far, I think I’d enjoy it a lot… visually. But the content is what worries me.
    Possibly, I’ll give it a try at some point, but I won’t go out of my way to either read or see it.
    Thanks for the detailed post!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      No problem, Maja. I am sure there are plenty of other people who haven’t done either, since I’ve only watched the film so far! 🙂

  11. I’m glad you liked the film even if you didn’t love it – I have to say that you really should read the book though, because aspects of the movie that seemed to disappoint you were done much better in the book. In the book the southern atmosphere is described wonderfully and Lena’s character is much more relatable; the movie honed in on Ethan’s perspective more and made Lena moody without much explanation. Either way, great detailed post!

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Thank you and I shall definitely be picking up the book as soon as I have a spare chance. I hope that the book will fulfil where the movie dropped out so thanks for letting me know that! 🙂

  12. Glad you enjoyed it despite the weaknesses. I’ve read the books, and I was a bit disappointed with how they changed the plot, and the ending. I think a lot of fans were baffled as to why those changes were made, but of course I expect some creative wangling in any film adaptation. I think for me the strongest parts were the costumes and the set, followed closely by the performances of Emma, Viola and Emmy as Sarafine, Amma and Ridley. I wasn’t in love with the movie’s version of the story, though. Wonderful review, and great pics! 🙂

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Yes, I heard about the ending change and my friend’s sister was equally quite confounded. I think even for a film adaption and ‘creative wangling; it’s a little extreme. Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the costumes and sets though! 🙂

  13. A movie where it seems like everyone was lazy with making sure the accents are consistent? Yikes! That would probably get on my nerves a lot more than it got on yours. I enjoyed your write-up: I don’t think I’d see the movie, since I didn’t like the book enough to be invested in the story or characters, but I do like reading other people’s thoughts on it.

    • Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews

      Yes, I probably understated the annoyance a little bit. Ahhh well then you’ll probably not like the film if you didn’t like the books! 🙂

  14. Pingback: Book and Movie Review: Beautiful Creatures | Books, Writing, Tea

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  16. Pingback: Book to Screen (4) – Beautiful Creatures | thehopefulheroine

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