My Rating: 2.5/ 5
Compared to the book, this movie was truly a disappointment. If I hadn't read the book before watching this I would have been so confused. Even while watching the movie, I was confused.
Thing I Liked (Sort of)
Even though Ridley's physical appearance didn't match the description of the movie, I think her short hair and clothing adequately conveyed her attitude.
Things I Disliked
First of all, I hated Ethan and Lena's relationship in this movie. It lacked everything I loved in the book. Their fights were way too abrupt, going from screaming to making out in literally seconds. Any and all kissing in the movie was was too aggressive, for lack of better term. It lacked the general awkwardness of the teenage relationship in the book.
They cut out Marian Ashcroft. This was completely not ok with me. Marian serves as the hidden link between Ethan's "normal" world and the Caster world. By making Amma the Caster librarian we lose the whole emotional link with Lila.
Speaking of Lila, they completely took out Ethan's parents, which I think were the realistic parts of the book to emotionally hold the audience. Both parents are mentioned but neither make a reappearance in the movie.
In general the plot was very poorly extrapolated from the book. All the important parts of the movie were put in, but none of them ever flowed. If I hadn't read the book, I never would have known that Lena was in threat of being expelled. All they showed was her breaking the windows and then her saying she was on probation. That's it. Nothing else.
They took out the dance scene. This wouldn't have been much of a problem, except that they mention it. There's one shot of Ethan and Lena joking around about the dance which leads the audience to believe they'll get to see the dance, but we don't. They just taunted us. Stupid movie people.
I have a really big problem with the end of this movie. Since when does Lena have the power to take people's memories away? What? And if she really is that powerful, can't she restore his memories? She took Ethan's memories so he could be "dead" to her and the curse is paid, but Macon still died, and Ethan didn't remember her. To me, this doesn't sounds like "true sacrifice", it sounds like pure stupidity.
Since I'm talking about the ending, why is the Claiming in broad daylight? The whole point of the Claiming is having a moon present. Why is there a clear full moon during broad daylight? What?
This is a much more trivial part of the storyline but was it just me, or was Savannah Snow never actually in the movie? They identified Emily Asher but never showed Savannah Snow or the whole posse which really diminished the idea of everyone being exactly the same. In addition to this, they never actually showed Ethan having conflict with his school friends, making it seem like Ethan dating Lena was ok with the town.
I'm going to be completely honest here and admit something. I thought that both Lena and Ethan were more attractive in the book. Maybe it's just me but in the book I pictured them a lot more attractive, not to say that the actors weren't. I just had a different picture in my head.