Writer: Neroshah Nair
Overall: 3.0 Out of 5
Cast: 4.0 Out of 5
Plot: 3.5 Out of 5
Effects: 2.5 Out of 5
Cinematography: 3.0 Out of 5
Watch this if you liked: "The Twilight Saga" & "The Craft"
Fans who are hungry for a new love story after taking the last juicy bite off the "Twilight" movies, will be pleased know that "Beautiful Creatures" is now on the menu. This movie is for you if you are one to enjoy fantasy films about star-crossed lovers with a dash of supernatural powers, however if this is enough to make your stomach turn, then "Beautiful Creatures" is not your cup of tea.
The film begins with Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) narrating about life in his typical Southern town of Gatlin and his longing desire to leave it all behind. The very next day, he meets a mysterious raven-haired girl, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), who resembles the girl in his recurring dreams and is instantly smitten by her although the entire township perceives her as a Satan worshipper.
After much conflict of the heart and learning that she is indeed a 'caster', capable of magic, their love begins to grow only to be disapproved by Lena's uncle, Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons). The Ravenwoods have to protect Lena from her mother, Saraphine (Emma Thompson), a dark 'caster' who connives to claim her for the darkness upon her sixteenth birthday. More dark secrets about their families and the town then begin to surface, testing their love for one another.
The plot then starts to linger around, counting down the days to Lena's birthday, a not so sweet sixteen. The entire story might seem too much of a rehash, but the on screen chemistry between Ethan and Lena is a charm to watch. Thanks to writer-director Richard LaGravenese's playful script, the couple could be the next teenage supernatural sensation.
The rising duo portrays first love so realistically with a hint of frisky innocence and nervousness which made their scenes together glimmer with magic. The jumpy Ethan so eager to impress Lena is easily likable and it creates a vibe so pleasant to watch that you can't help but to smirk as they tease each other. This is so until their love gets all over-the-top cliche especially towards the end.
"Beautiful Creatures" did have some interesting graphics to bring the fantasy novel to life but the effects didn't quite pull through. Due to the cartoon-ish effects, the dark unearthly scenes which are supposedly spine-chilling, tickles the funny bone instead.
However, Emma Thompson whom everyone loves as Nanny McPhee and Professor Sybill Trelawney in "Harry Potter" deserves praise for her malicious monologue as the wicked Saraphine for almost single handedly delivering one of the best scenes in this film. She also effortlessly portrays dual conflicting personalities, a dark 'caster' and Mrs. Lincoln, an overtly pious Southern mom. Needless to say, Jeremy Irons pulled out some witty and sarcastic lines as Lena's reclusive yet sharply dressed uncle.
Humor is a definite plus point for "Beautiful Creatures". Audiences will be amused by some of the Southern stereotypes such as the repeated use of the phrase, "my mama said" and reenactments of the Civil War. The little wit used is enough to make the story seem more realistic to create a complete and enjoyable experience.
This movie explores coming-of-age struggles with a refreshing take on love and sacrifice. Whether you are a fan of fantasy romance or just willing to give this genre another chance, you will be entertained that's for sure.
Cinema Online, 20 February 2013