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 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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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. It’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.
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 little 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.
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!