Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Beautiful Creatures": it seems to invert the premise of "Twilight"

Beautiful Creatures” tells a supernatural story from the eyes of a likable and mature teenage boy., Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), who lives in an isolated South Carolina town looking after his widowed father, and preparing to apply for college.  One day, in a driving storm, another teen Lena (Alice Englert), probably too young to drive, flags him down to stop and help her.

What starts is a platonic friendship with some puppy love, that draws Ethan into the supernatural history of her family, and then even his own.  It’s a little hard to explain, but it is something like witchcraft and reincarnation of spirits that fought a Civil War battle in the area.  In a sense, the film seems like the “inverse” of the Twilight movies.

Quite a bit of the action takes places in a haunted and dilapidated southern mansion, that inside turns into an art deco fantasy, complete with staircase and grand piano ready for Chopin. Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons) drags the pair along into complications.  The story drags in some friends of Ethan, particularly Link (Thomas Mann), who makes a nice sidekick.

It does seem, that in a few scenes, women can be physically "dangerous" to the boys.  But in their war reenactment, they can become dangerous to each other, too.  
There is a climax, with a reenactment of a Civil War battle, a tornado, an apparent accidental tragedy, that gets resolved in supernatural fashion that doesn’t seem that compelling.

The film, for Warner Brothers and Alcon, is directed by Richard LaGravenese (“Freedom Writers”), and is based on a novel by Kami Garcia.  It was filmed in Louisiana.
The link for the film is here. It opened on Valentine’s Day 2013.

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