I know, I know, that score makes you want to hate on me already. First, let me say that I have read the book and really enjoyed it. It was thought provoking, emotionally engaging, and intelligent. Second, while I enjoyed the book, I am not passionate about it like some people are. So I went into the movie with a completely open mind, just wanting to experience the movie.
First, the positives. Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep are fantastic as expected. Both bring wonderful layers to their character. Also, the use of going from black and white to color was used real well to demonstrate what the characters see. The film looks good and is acted well.
Now my complaints. First of all, the setup of the supporting characters felt off to me. The society they live in have a certain set of rules that everyone follows because they were taught to their whole lives. But all the characters broke the rules multiple times in the beginning of the film. That takes you out of the overall feeling the movie is supposed to give you, the message it has to offer.
Next, while the book got you emotionally attached to Jonas and what is happening to him, the movie falls flat. Their are certain moments that have to have the audience fully involved emotionally, but just don't. That is a big negative unfortunately, because you want to care, but the film is too lazy setting you up for the emotional blow.
Finally, the pacing is way off. The middle part with Jonas coming to the realization of what is really going on, is rushed and he makes up his mind like that. That is the most important part of the movie, and sadly it is rushed. Then the movie slows down, and that leads to a VERY anti-climactic ending.
Overall, if you are a die hard fan of the book, then obviously you should see it. Who knows, I may be the only one who doesn't drink the coolade for this movie. But the tone and storytelling are to sloppy and the movie fails to get you emotionally attached. So the result is a mediocre film for me. I still recommend you see for yourself, but just ask yourself: Did I love the movie or did I want to love the movie because of the book?
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