Monday, September 8, 2008
**This one goes out to my good pal, Andrew, who doesn't like this movie.
I, unlike the rest of the world, didn't see the "twist" coming, because I, unlike the rest of the world, like to enter movies with a child-like innocence. Wonder, if you will.
And I loved it. "Twist" aside, the story, while compelling, is not the star of this show. Premise never did a movie make.
It's the characters, specifically Ivy and Lucius, that make this movie so kick-ass. Lucius's stoicism is such a nice pairing to Ivy's Anne of Green Gables-like innocence and her Flannery O'Connor-like insight into the people around her. I cared about them first, and then I cared about their situation.
And don't even get me started on this movie as a visual extravaganza. I'm no cinematographer, but I know what I like, and I loooooooooooved this. And I have this feeling that people thought the use of color (red, specifically) was too heavy handed. I adamantly disagree. I liked that he didn't try to re-invent the wheel. He used something that was familiar and powerful, and he used that familiarity to his advantage. Some (andrew, i'm looking at you) may call that heavy handed, I call it resourceful and awesome. His use of simple and powerful symbols is refreshing.
And that moment when the "creatures" are in the village, and Ivy stands outside her house with her hand outstretched, and you can see the creature coming, but then at the last second, not even the last second you expect, but the second after that, Lucius grabs Ivy's hand and then it's all slow motion, and he spins her inside and closes the door...be still my heart.
And the music, my word the music. The devil, or in this case awesomeness, is in the details. M. Night commissioned a violinist around Ivy's age to do those sweeping violin solos, correctly thinking that having young woman of the same age playing the music would help to capture that restless energy Ivy possesses.
The movie is to be taken as a whole, not just a sum of it's parts. I admit there are some stilted performances, and some people found the twist unsurprising, but the whole, look at the whole.