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Beautiful Creatures

Movie Review

Review: Beautiful Creatures


Lena and Ethan start the nth star-crossed love affair of this generation.

I had no plans of watching this film for two basic reasons – 1. I had virtually no time to waste, and 2. I was pretty much ready to retire Twilight and the entire concept of forbidden love in a little cramped box that is my adolescence. I thought we all have to stop romanticizing forever and grow up. But as a sucker for guilt trips and free tickets, I thought and hoped two more hours of adolescent cliche shouldn’t hurt very much.

Based on a novel of the same name, the film Beautiful Creatures tells the tale of Ethan Wate, played by Alden Ehrenreich, a boy old for his years and wiser and braver than their small town of Gatlin, South Carolina allowed. His boring high school life is recently plagued by strange dreams of a strange unknown girl that leaves him parched and wanting in the morning. One day, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the niece of the town’s reclusive founder arrives. A new girl in school, a new specimen for the religious and the oppressive of their town to examine and judge, the girl in Ethan’s dreams. The boy is smitten. The girl has a haunting past, a suspended present, and an undecided future. They fall in love through the thick of magic, and the tug of war between light and dark begins.

It is an interesting enough story that can sustain your interest in its 124 minute run. The plot and twists, though not entirely original, still manage to surprise. It employed witty, humorous dialogue; fast and smart, like Gilmore Girls gone South Carolina

But I give more credit to the actors than to the story itself. The film made the en vogue decision to book a big name actor in nearly every supporting role. From the cool debonair Jeremy Irons to the mad megalomaniac of Emma Thompson, to the sexy scene-stealer Emmy Rossum, the film was rife with talent. The relatively unknown leads also performed to par. Ehrenreich and Englert played a good game of wit throughout, displaying good chemistry, with Ehrenreich’s dorky charm a good balance to Englert’s moody goth. The film was also able to evoke darkness and horror from beyond the dark Ravenwood manor. The town of Gatlin itself was a supporting character, alive and breathing down your neck.

The movie plays interestingly around the popular themes of eternity, destiny and choice. At the very least, the story tries to impart a few lessons that don’t require a magic spell. Twilight fans will be wanting a more handsome lead, but the plot runs its own course and deserves a separate merit. At the end of it,  I did not feel compelled to go off and read the series. That could be just me; I need a new literary genre. But I did leave my seat saying, “not bad, not bad at all,” and that is a lot more than I honestly expected.

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