Movie Poster for the Lovely Bones

Poster for th Lovely Bones

Four years ago I read “the Lovely Bones” and found that while the book had some serious issues regarding the actual way things are once you die, (from my experience) that overall it was a good read. So … it was with much anticipation that I waited to see the movie once I heard a film was going to be created based upon the book. Soon after the movie came out I tried to see it in the theater, but for one reason or another it never happened. Recently I finally got a chance to see the movie and no disrespect to the actors, but it was not that great.

First of all there is the issue with taking a book that deals with sensitive subject material regarding a juvenile who is abducted, raped and murdered. That alone does not translate well from book to screen, it’s easier to read about than to watch … like a fly on the wall. Granted the film skips over the sexual assault, but still it’s uncomfortable to watch the killer going about planning to abduct the girl and then following through on it.

The elements of the story which I enjoyed, the transparency of our lives to the dead … the fact that there is an afterlife, the fact that some here can see the dead and communicate with them is still there, however I feel too much time was spent on emphasizing something that I do not believe exists the way as portrayed in the movie. When someone is “in-between” worlds, it does not appear as a gazebo in the middle of the cornfield that you may have been murdered in or as an odd place with a lighthouse. Instead, the world appears as it is, except there is little ability to interact with it, at least in the fashion that one was accustomed to.

Some of the story was edited and integral parts of the tale were left out, making the story less compelling. The relationship that the girls mother has with the detective who is working her case is skipped over as are a few additional components of the story.

I hesitate to recommend this movie though I do suggest the book. I thought that while the characters in the film were played well by the actors involved, the subject material does not make a good transition to the screen. So in closing, skip the movie and enjoy the book and remember that it is a work of fiction with just enough genuine elements of the interactions between the departed and those present to make it interesting and compelling. Heaven is of course nothing like what is portrayed in either the book or the film.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

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