Book vs. Film: Beautiful Creatures
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1), by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl • ★★★ • Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers • Goodreads • TBD • Spoilers Ahead!
THE BOOKThe magic in Beautiful Creatures was wonderfully executed. I especially love the idea of each Caster's ability appearing as they grow up. An Empath, Thaumaturge, Siren, and more. I enjoy the fact that when magic is being cast, it's subtle if you imagine it happening in real life. It's only obvious to the reader because it's spelled out by the characters' behaviours.
I absolutely adore Macon, the mysterious uncle of Lena. His ardent protection of Lena, his ability, and his decisions just made me feel for him. I think Lena finally understood it towards the end, which was why there was a huge shift in her emotional state. Additionally, Ridley was another minor antagonist-like character that I felt a little for, especially her "relationship" with Link.
But there are so many references in the Beautiful Creatures that seemed to assume that readers will understand them. From To Kill A Mockingbird, to Little House on the Prairie. The ones that were used by the librarian, Marian (another of my favourite characters), were simpler. There were also quite some mentions of Scarlett O'Hara. I think it's fine to have some literature references but when it gets too much and requires the reader to actually know the characters and their personalities... I feel that's too much to expect from the reader?
Still, I do enjoy the magical world of Beautiful Creatures. It may be a long novel for YA, but the magic makes up for it. (And Macon.)
Beautiful Creatures • Released in 2013 • Screenplay by Richard LaGravenese • IMDB
THE FILMFor a novel over 500 pages to be squeezed into a 2-hour movie, I think it's a tall task. A tall task that LaGravenese has done pretty well.
There are definitely things changed and cut off but the things I cared about (which is a lot, I'm not sorry) that were gone are:
- Ethan's family, especially his connection with his mother
- Larkin's betrayal
- Little Ryan (This!!! Where's my cute little Ryan!!!!!)
- The beautiful house of Ravenwood
- Hunting! And Marian! The Prom! The Rave!
I'm sure there are things I missed but Ryan and the Ravenwood's house are the ones I wanted to see most. :(
The removal of the bullying was understandable but I think it removed the impact of how narrow-minded of a town Gatlin was, and also the horror of mob pressure. Emily and friends' hypocrisy were watered down to almost nothingness. Also, Serafine's appearance was also less impactful, I suppose it's to make it more PG. the one in the book was so eurgh-worthy!
Again, like the book, the magic was awesome! Lena was given greater powers. The hiding of the moon was fabulous. Also, what I love most was the portrayal of and effects on Lena. She encompasses both Dark and Light, and the film really showed that beautifully.
But the one thing that ruined everything was the altering of just about ALL the romance. The connection between Lena and Ethan from the book had been removed so the film became the kind of illogical instalove. Ridley also became a useless Siren instead of someone struggling with her Dark side. Amma also lost a lot of her sharpness.
All in all, since the book was 3-stars for me, the movie is... 1.5? CG helped with it a little. But don't waste your time.