Friday, 18 March 2016
The Lovely Bones (4 Stars)
This film is a supernatural drama directed by Peter Jackson in 2009. Despite receiving great critical acclaim it was only a moderate success at the box office, barely making its budget back. This is surprising, considering the enormous success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and "King Kong". Maybe the problem is that it wasn't clear what the film's target audience was. Peter Jackson intended the film to be for adults, but the film's main character is a 14-year-old girl, making it look like a film for teenagers.
The film has many similarities with "What dreams may come". Susie Salmon is a girl who is murdered when she's 14. She finds herself in a world of great beauty. She's encouraged by her only companion in the after-life, a teenage girl called Holly Golightly, to move on, but she feels responsible for her family and friends that she's left behind. She finds that she can influence her family members to different degrees. Her youngest brother is the most susceptible, but he isn't taken seriously when he tells the others that Susie visits him. More than anything she wants to warn them that her murderer lives in the house opposite and might strike again.
This isn't a weepy film like "What dreams may come". Susie is very satisfied in the after-life. She doesn't even have thoughts of revenge towards her killer, she's only worried that her friends and family are in danger from him. Although Susie had a boyfriend on Earth, it's not him that she's most interested in. She has the closest bond to her father.
As after-life philosophies go, it's very vague, not quite agreeing with any of the large world religions. On the other hand, it's less absurd than the concept in "What dreams may come" that you can enter a painting in the after-life. The world in which Susie finds herself isn't Heaven, it's a place between Heaven and Earth where she has to ready herself for her final destination, but it's not a place of punishment like Purgatory, it's a pleasant place, so pleasant that it's not worth leaving to go to Heaven, whatever it might look like in the Peter Jackson universe. I like the idea that it's possible to cling to Earth if you want to. If I were to die tomorrow I'd like to remain close to Cineworld so that I don't miss the next Captain America film.