True, a lot of reviews for Lovely Bones were critical and the movie didn’t set the box office on fire.
But we were impressed enough by the Irish lass Saoirse Ronan’s performance in Hanna to take a look at some of her older films.
For some reason that we just can’t recollect now, we picked The Lovely Bones, a 2007 film directed by Peter Jackson (of Lord of the Rings fame), first.
Besides Saoirse, the movie also features a decent cast in Stanley Tucci, Mark Wahlberg and Rachel Weisz (Best Supporting Actress Oscar for the lovely film Constant Gardener).
When young Susie Salmon, a happy 14-year-old girl living in a small town with her loving parents, an younger sister and brother is brutally murdered early in the film, the writer and director of the movie would have us believe that she doesn’t ascend to heaven but lingers on in an in-between zone watching the impact of her disappearance on her family and the killer on Earth.
The murder and her disappearance is extremely traumatic for the girl, her parents and her siblings.
Traumatic for everyone except her cold-blooded killer Mr.Harvey (played by Stanley Tucci with great aplomb).
If you liked Saoirse Ronan in Hanna, you’re bound to like her even more in Lovely Bones.
The girl is a volcano of acting talent. Like other gifted actors, she’s so natural and makes it seem effortless. We can’t think of any young Indian actress who is even a fourth or fifth as good as Saoirse (just 13 when this movie was made).
Stanley Tucci is very, very good too as the killer who calmly goes about his everyday activity in the same neighborhood even after the murder. Tucci’s is an understated but powerful performance.
A problem with even the respected stars in India like Kamal Haasan or the late Sivaji Ganesan is that they tend to over-dramatize or to use India lingo over-act and end up looking silly.
We weren’t in the least surprised to learn that for his fine performance in Lovely Bones, Tucci won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination.
Susan Sarandon (Step Mom) adds the comedic touch as the oddball grandma.
Indian film directors who can’t resist the urge to insert a comedy track in their movies ought to watch Lovely Bones to see how it can be done without coming across as crass and crude.
SearchIndia.com recommends The Lovely Bones. The movie is available at Netflix.