Saturday, 16 March 2013

REVIEW - BEAUTIFUL CREATURES


Feeding off a non-existent sub-genre, Beautiful Creatures aims to be The Twilight Saga 6, and pretty much succeeds. And just as Twilight endlessly milks its bland, stinky sullenness, so too does Beautiful Creatures milk its florid exuberance, which produces some eye-catching moments but a rather wayward film. Its dedication keeps it on track, but boisterous Gothic drama and timid teen romance make for awkward bedfellows. The more it succumbs to one or the other, the easier it settles. Emma Thompson and Emmy Rossum feverishly ravage their roles like they're on meth, and Jeremy Irons spits his South Carolina drawl out with a tremendous fervour; and what a treat to see Margo Martindale and Eileen Atkins in plum supporting parts. Leads Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich are bound by the constraints of what the target demographic demands, and attempts to imbue their characters with more singular attributes only chafe. Englert and Ehrenreich have an unforced chemistry, though, and are perpetually easy on the eye! Alas, in the end, the blatancy of this (financially failed) cash-in and the jumbled narrative and tone obliterate much of the quality to be found in this film, such as occasionally caustic humour and cool imagery. Plot holes don't help, nor does the obligatory religious undercurrent - what appears, initially, to be comic castigation of religion eventually turns out to be just a measured but irksome and condescending sponsor of it.