Sunday, 16 October 2011

"Heavenly Creatures" Review

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Dir: Peter Jackson 

"Only the best people fight against all obstacles in pursuit of happiness."

It took me about 5 tries to get through all of "Heavenly Creatures". I'd hit play and inevitably something would come up that deserved my attention more than the film; but today I stand before you a man not defeated by the cruel twists of fate. A man who conquered all odds. A man who has finished watching Peter Jackson's "Heavenly Creature". I am in many ways a new man, a better man.

And as this new man, I can confidently spout off my opinion on the film. Which is that is was.... meh.

I guess there was a subconscious reason why I felt so happy to pause the film at any moment and divert my attention to other tasks. I was very unengaged by the film. I don't know if it was the plot, the characters or the acting, or the culmination of all these aspects, but I was thoroughly uninterested in what happened next.

The story is based on a true story of two young girls, Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, who bond over their love of literature and fantasy. They enter a very obsessive and intense relationship, on which their parent's look down. When the parent's conspire to break the girls apart, the girls retaliate by planing to kill Pauline's mother.

This film has one of my pet hates in it, and that is the text epilogue, where a bunch of sentences explain what happened after the events of the film. It doesn't bother me in documentaries, but if you base your fictional film on a true story, I don't give a fuck about anything that isn't in your movie. If you want to tell the true story of what happened, make a documentary. If you want to fictionalise the story and take artistic liberties, then your story ends when the credits start. To add a handful of sentences is cheating and lazy filmmaking. Some may argue that it's in writing, and not part of the film, because that isn't the story the filmmaker wanted to tell. If so, then why have it at all?

Anyway, that aside, some visuals were striking, in the typical Peter Jackson kinda way, but not much we haven't seen in "Bad Taste" (1987) or "Braindead" (1992) or even "The Frighteners" (1996).

Top 5 Things About "Heavenly Creatures"
5. Melanie Lynskey's accent until I realised that it wasn't fake.
4. The bits that reminded me of Peter Jackson's other movies that I like more.
3. The crazy camera angles.
2. Seeing what WETA could do back in '94.
1. The fantasy kills.


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