[Review] Beautiful Creatures (2013) – En

I just finished watchingBeatiful Creatures” film at Fox Movies Premium. At first I thought it’s not that great of a movie. Been aired before and I didn’t really follow the plot of its story. I really thought, “Ah, it must be as cheesy as The Twilight Saga.” (Hehe.. sorry for Twilight’s fans) And it turned out I was wrong. Thank God, boy how I’m glad I was wrong, indeed!

This afternoon, as I spent my off day (which means it’s the lazy-world-day), I could watch it in a relax manner. Alright, the story begun like any other teenage love story kind of movies. And I kind of expected the film’s focus is toward the boy, Ethan Lawson Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), while it’s actually focused on the girl, Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert). Well, actually, the film is about BOTH of them. Typical a love story between two teenagers who live in this small conservative town (and its populations are still believed on supernatural things, demons, and angels) called Gatlin.

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The complete plot of the story, you can read it on wikipedia or IMDb. But, alright, I will write the synopsis here anyway. Warning, the synopsis I wrote may contain movie’s spoilers. 🙂

It started with Ethan, a local teenager, often dream about a stranger. A girl. Then there is a new student attended his high school named Lena. The locals had been gossiping about Lena is the child of devil’s worshipers. At first, Ethan could care less about the gossip and about Lena, but then he became curious after he almost hit her with his car. It was raining and Lena’s car break down on the street. This is where their love story begins. Ethan’s interest grew on her, especially because he found her reading this “banned” poetry book of Charles Bukowski.

Anyways, the more Ethan knows about Lena, the more he learns of her true nature. Ethan also realized that Lena is the girl in his dream, and Lena had been dreaming about him as well. And, it turns out that Lena is indeed a witch by descendant, which called themselves “Casters”. Although scared, Ethan, who has already fallen in love to Lena, could accept the situation. It’s just that, the Casters must choose between two choices: become Light Caster or Dark Caster, exactly when they’re turning 16. And Lena only has 75 days to choose, at that time.

By the way, Lena is an orphan. She lives with her uncle, Macon Melchizedek Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons,  who is still charming although age consumes his handsomely body, hehe..) Macon is also a Caster. Dark Caster, to be exact. But, how come he is good and willing to protect Lena? The very same question also spilled by Ethan when Lena turned furious, fearing that she’ll become a Dark Caster one day and ends up hurting Ethan. Now this is a little complex, because Duchannes Caster cannot choose. They will automatically become Dark Casters, by curse. But Ethan insisted. He said, the only person who can decide their life to become bad or good is themselves. Ethan believes Lena is a good girl, so she would be a Light Caster. It’s just that Lena wasn’t so sure. She KNOWS she will be a Dark Caster, because ALL of her family are.

As time goes by, Lena and Ethan have been seeing a premonition of the past life. The lives of their ancestors, which in fact, are connected. Genevieve Katherine Duchannes (Rachel Brosnahan) was Lena’s great, great, great, grandmother, and she was the first who carried the burden of becoming a Dark Caster. Because she was so shocked on the death of her lover, Ethan Carter Wate, at the battlefield of US Confederation war. And she broke the rule of “Book of Moon”, by chanting the forbidden spell: to wake up the dead. In returns, The Book of Moon cursed Genevieve, as she turned instantly becoming a Dark Caster, lost her soul and whatever good in her, and destroyed anything within her vicinity, including her lover (who only resurrected for seconds). The Book of Moon also cursed her descendants will bear the burden of being unable to choose. They will all automatically become Dark Casters.  That’s why Lena is so scared that she’ll turn evil, like her cousin and childhood bestie Ridley Duchannes (Emmy Rossum), and that Lena would hurt her boyfriend one day.

On the other hand, there is also an evil intention from Lena’s mother (her spirit, to be exact) Sarafine Duchannes, who possessed the body of Mavis Lincoln (Emma Thompson). Sarafine was Macon’s half-sister. Sarafine knew her child would become the most powerful Caster among all. So she’s finding a way how to turn Lena to become one. That’s Sarafine’s obsession. But Macon is strongly disagree with the plan. He wanted his niece to choose and he trusted her niece would become Light Caster, due to her good nature. Meanwhile, Ethan and Lena trying to find a way to break the curse. So he comes to Amarie “Amma” Treadeau (Viola Davis), Ethan’s nanny and Lila Evers–Ethan’s mother, for aid. They later find out that Amma is actually a Keeper whose duty is to keep Caster’s library. Lila Evers, Ethan’s mother, was a writer, before she killed in a car accident. And she was actually Macon’s soulmate, but their love could not survive because relationship between human and Casters are strongly forbidden. Okay, that explains why, in a scene, there was a meeting between Amma and Macon, and they look as if they’ve known each other for so so long. They are.

After asking Amma for aid, she shows them the Casters’ library. Only Casters can read the books inside the library. Including Book of Moon. But the book is so mysterious that it’s hidden. It can only be read by the Caster whose similar fate with the previous Caster who read it. And it’s revealing itself to Lena. Because Lena has the same problem: fell in love with a mortal. Lena reading it for weeks, while Ethan is faithfully waiting for her outside the room, as she finding the way of “how not to become a dark caster”. And there, she found the way how to break the curse. She told Amma about this, but could not tell Ethan. Because it requires “the death of the loved one”. There is no way Lena would sacrifice, hurt, moreover kill Ethan. But then again, she has a plan, as she defines that “death” is not only by physical, but also by mind. By memory. Yes, she’s going to make Ethan forgets about her and forget about their love.

Ethan turns out really forget about Lena. This made Amma looks shocked and devastated, but she keeps her mouth shut. But, Sarafine didn’t call it off. With her evil trick, she planned to kill Ethan anyway, so that Lena would get furious on her birthday, so that she’ll turn Dark Caster. With the help of Ridley, Sarafine used Link–Wesley Jefferson Lincoln (Thomas Mann), Ethan’s bestfriend. And Ethan was shot dead by Link on the Federation Battle reenactment event. When Ethan was shot, Lena could feel it. Lena ran to him and, yet, seeing Ethan lays on the grass, dying, boy she’s pissed off. Her mum Sarafine and Ridley were there too, provoke her. When her wrath peaked, Ethan turned into Macon. Well, it turns out Macon has disguised himself as Ethan, a trick for Sarafine’s trick.

Unfortunately, Macon died. Saying that he made a promise to Lila Evers to take care of her son, Ethan. And his last words to Lena was “Claim yourself.” And Lena did choose. She chose to become a Neutral Caster: half Dark, half Light. This Neutral Caster is like Avatar Aang, which power is way beyond other Casters–both Light and Dark. After Sarafine was defeated, Lena lives her life like “normal” people, with Ethan still forgets about her.

Six months passed, Ethan graduated from the high school. He and Link made plan to get out from Gatlin and find a college in New York. When he stopped by Amma’s workplace (the library), Ethan meets Lena. They talked for awhile and he’s interested to find Lena is reading Charles Bukowski poetry book. The old convo between them, happens all over again. The exact words. It brought a little hesitation in Ethan’s eyes. You can totally see it in his eyes. Lena gave away the book for him as a good-bye token. But then he gets out and enters the car. On the way, Ethan seems to read the book seriously. And then, he saw this “Gatlin” wooden sign–which he loves–being burned down (of the past event when Lena put it under a lightning, when they’re having making-up kiss). That’s when Ethan’s memory seems to return. The next scene, really brought me goose-bumping, kitty-hissing-like kind of feeling. I swear!!

That’s why I’m in love with the movie. Its ending really chills me to the bone, and such sensation is rarely felt during watching movie. Moreover, love story. I’m not usually interested in watching romance movies, but this is an exception, I guess. 😉

Aside of all, the things that make me love the film is the smart dialogues. Not only smart, the dialogues are also so natural. The actors are good! Ethan and Lena are just like common teenagers, with their jokes and teases. Ethan is also a funny guy despite of his serious girlfriend. They’re sometimes fighting about Lena’s fear of becoming Dark Caster, while Ethan is still supporting her unconditionally. Lena was sometimes refused Ethan, but he insisted to stay with her, because he loves her. He believes that love will find a way.

The concept of “death of a loved one” is far from ambiguous. Well, it’s true that “death” can only define by the loss of memory, not only loss of life. And definition of “the loved one” is not only between lovers, it can also between family. And the sacrifice they made for love is really amazing–Macon, Lila, Ethan, Lena. They bear the heavy burden of sacrificing their feelings so that their loved one may survived. Sacrificing their lives so that their loved one may happy. Everything is expressed so beautifully in this 124 minute film.

There are many interesting quotes in the film too. I will copy-paste some of my fave here.

This is when Ethan breaks up with his first gf, Emily Asher:

Emily Asher: I pray every night that you don’t go straight to hell.

Ethan Wate: Oh, I won’t go straight to hell, Emily. I wanna stop off in New York first.

The first time Macon meets Ethan at Ravenwood house (where Lena lives):

Ethan Wate: [under Macon Ravenwood’s spell] … I’ll get my teaching degree, and, and, probably teach at the high school… Or maybe I’ll take over the library from Amma… I’ll, I’ll probably marry Emily Asher and we’ll have two kids, but… I’ll never make enough money for her, so I’ll start drinkin’… Get three DUIs and lose my job, and uh, have an affair on and off with Savannah Snow ’til I’m 49; the kids will live with their mother after we divorce – then when I’m 52 I’ll have my first heart attack; another one at 63. I’ll move into an apartment above ‘The Wayward Dog’ bar and help them sweep up after hours for free drinks, and then when I’m 64, I’ll hang myself… But they won’t find the body right away, until I stink…

Macon Ravenwood: Well… You’ve got it all planned out! Good for you!

The first time Ethan asked Lena to date him. Says when Ethan ran out of Lena’s window, after Lena casts spell on the liana so it would reach her window:

Lena Duchannes: Ethan promise me one thing; it will be a perfectly normal human date.

Ethan Wate: I swear. I won’t even call you after the date.

Lena Duchannes: Jerk.

Ethan Wate: Witch.

Lena Duchannes: Jock.

The scene when Ethan and Lena fight in front of “Gatlin” wooden board–Ethan’s fave place of thinking how he could always get away from Gatlin to “modern civilization”:

Ethan Wate: I’m agreeing with you! Ok, I’m just a dumb ass mortal who can’t make his own thunder, but I know there’s no way were gonna figure this out unless you stop feeling so damn sorry for yourself! Go ahead! Start an earthquake, see where that gets you.

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After Lena “raining” on Ethan

Ethan Wate: Everybody has to deal with shit in their lives Lena. You want to be a normal human what do you think that is? We don’t have powers to change anything anytime we want. Being human is feeling bad, it’s feeling pissed off, it’s feeling scared, it’s you not being able to do anything about it until you don’t feel that way anymore till you can just see your way out of it. And I yelled at you because I care about you, that’s what normal people do who love each other! When one of them is acting like a brat! Now would you please stop raining on me!  —> (gegara Lena jengkel sama Ethan, dia menyihir hujan lokal hanya di sekitar Ethan, hihihihi..)

Still, at the “Gatlin” wooden board–Ethan’s fave place, when Lena persistently asking Ethan to leave her alone, and Ethan insists to stay:

Ethan Wate: You still don’t get it do you? I don’t want to be any further away from you than I am right now. One way or another… Love is a risk for anybody… Go ahead, kill me.

After Ethan met Mrs. Lincoln/Sarafine, who showed her true form, freak Ethan out and ran away from home to the Ravenwood’s house:

Ethan Wate: No! I’m sick of listening to your family. I have been chased, spun, hypnotized, paralyzed, and damn near killed by your family. I have been going out of my mind for the past two weeks, then your mother shows up on my door step and damn near gives me a heart attack but you know what I don’t care about them, about the curse, you are not going dark and you are not losing me! No matter what they do, no matter what they do to me, I’m still here.

Ethan Wate: There’s no way that what Lena and I feel for each other is going to turn into something wrong and evil. There’s no way.

Macon Ravenwood: As long as I live I will never understand you creatures. You have no real power, you live at the mercy of forces outside of your control and yet you believe that what you feel, will somehow make it alright.

After Ethan finds out that Amma is The Keeper:

Ethan Wate: What I can’t figure is, you go to church everyday, how do you believe in all of this and still believe in God?

Amma: God created all things didn’t he? Only man will decide which ones is mistakes.

The scene after Ethan forgets all about Lena and their relationship:

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Lena’s good-bye present for Ethan: snow

Reverend Stephens: I don’t want to preach today, instead I just wanna talk to you, about a word we don’t hear much anymore. Sacrifice. It’s not what I would call a modern word. People hear the word sacrifice, and they become afraid that something will be taken away from them or that they will have to give up something they couldn’t live without. Sacrifice, to them, means loss in a world telling us we could have it all. But I believe true sacrifice is a victory. That’s because it requires free will to give up something for someone you love, or something or someone you love more than yourself. I won’t lie to you. It’s a gamble. Sacrifice wont take away pain and loss, but it wins the battle against bitterness, the bitterness that dims the light on all of the true value in our lives.

When Lena is facing her mother Sarafine:

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Lena chose to become a Neutral Caster, and she defeated Sarafine

Lena Duchannes: There’s a new world mama. It ain’t all dark, and it ain’t all light, and it ain’t all ours.

After Lena defeated Sarafine:

Lena Duchannes: I could hear the sound. The sound was me breaking. I cried because he had lived, because he had died. I was shattered. I was saved. I only knew the girl I was, was gone. He was right. No good could come from loving a mortal. They can’t survive our world. Get out, go Ethan. Claim yourself, in defiance, in hope, in love, in fury, in gratitude. Claim the light. Claim the dark, Claim it all. Nothing can stay.

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See? The point is, this film is worth the watch. Not only for teenagers, also for adults. Feel free to. 😉

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