Thursday, 31 October 2013

HOW I LIVE NOW directed by Kevin MacDonald

Friday 4th October 2013. The morning of my birthday and the day when one of the films I have most looked forward to hits the cinema screens.


It's a film adaptation of a novel written by English author Meg Rosoff, which became international bestseller. And FILM 4 had the greatest idea of all to make it into a movie.

So Friday afternoon I am sat in the cinema waiting for it to start. Now, you all might thin, what a lame thing to do on your birthday, but it's a kind of a tradition for me. Every birthday I go and see a book turned into a movie. Last year it was the wonderful portray of Stephen Chbosky's THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER. This year HOW I LIVE NOW has the privilege.

Now, I have a confession to make. I haven't read the book. YET! I actually didn't know that it is a novel until I read more into this film. The trailer itself did the trick to make me wanna go and se the film for myself. It looked exciting!

Directed by Kevin MacDonald - the same guy who put his magic touch on critics' acclaimed THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND - this film has a promise of darkness and maybe a little linger on the subject which we don't normally talk about. And it will keep it real.

I must say this film managed to surprise me. Big time. I was expecting a chick flick. Some other version of Twilight or other ever-lasting love story. But this piece of cinematography was just opposite of that. For those who haven't read the book like me, here is a quick synopsis without revealing any details. Or too much details.

We are meeting Daisy (Sioarse Ronan) an American teenage girl, who was sent to England by her father to stay with her cousins. Basically Daisy became too problematic for her father to deal with so he shipped her away to her family. Here she meets her relatives she never even spoken to before - cousins and an aunt. At the beginning, as you can imagine, Daisy isn't very impressed with the English countryside but at the initial bad impression, she becomes a part of the family. A she falls in love with Edmund - one of her cousins (yeah I know a bit gross!) but then a war comes to England. Terrorist take over. The family tried to ignore and hide at first but then is found by the british army and divided. And that's when this extraordinary story takes massive turns. It becomes a story of survival, courage, love and hope to get back home to the one you love.

What a story line! And what a thrilling adaption of a book. I have found this film dark, mind-blowing, absolutely fantastic. The story itself was through to the core. I found most surprising how descriptive and real this film was.  There were disturbing moments which would normally put me off, but this time it suited to the theme and the story. All the reactions of the characters, all the things we have seen the bad guys do, this is how it would be when a war would come. It was terrifying but amazing at the same time. 

The actors were a bunch of professionals who put everything they've got into the roles they played. Special mention needs to go to George MacKay who played the part of Edmond. The way he express the feelings and portrayed a man wounded by the war was dark, but wonderful. Saoirse Ronan was great as always.
And the rest of the cast were fantastic as her cousins.

The soundtrack complimented the film very well. We heard the sounds and music by Jon Hopkins, Crystal Fighters, Daughter, Natasha Khan & Amanda Palmer. What a musical masterpiece! 

In my opinion, Kevin MacDonald created a wonderful movie which isn't another teenage movie. It's petrifying. It's terrifying. It's true to the core, but beautiful at the same time. You won't believe that this is an adaptation of a book directed towards young audience. But this movie is a movie which will leave a mark on you. 

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