FALLEN: Sometimes The Film Is Actually Better Than The Book (REVIEW)
I first read Fallen by Lauren Kate back in 2010, and while it was nothing groundbreaking or spectacular, it still became one of my favorite guilty pleasures (the plot twists in the later books in particular were very well-thought out). I went to the cinemas today to watch the movie adaptation with no expectations, considering my high standards when it comes to films and the fact that it was adapted from a YA novel. I'm also a firm believer in the idea that "the book will always be better than the movie" (*cough*The Perks Of Being A Wallflower*cough) but, much to my astonishment, that wasn't the case this time. Yup, that's right . . . The movie adaptation of Fallen was actually better than the book.
Honestly I had no idea who any of the actors were, and because of that I kind of expected them to be amateur-ish. Surprisingly, though, they all did a great job. Addison Timlin, who plays Lucinda Price, is gorgeous and actually made the character more likeable than she was in the books. Don't get me wrong, Luce was okay, but there were times when I just couldn't help but feel annoyed at her. However, Addison Timlin made Luce seem more badass and a lot cooler in the film which was enjoyable to watch. My favorite line of hers in the movie: "Are you really going start off the night by saying 'no' to the girl?" (and mind you, she said this while straddling a motorcycle).
The supporting cast all did an awesome job as well. Daisy Head was simply perfect for the role of Arriane, while Lola Kirke did the character of Penn justice. The two male leads, Jeremy Irvine (Daniel) and Harrison Gilbertson (Cam), were very easy on the eyes, if you know what I mean. Harrison is hotter though, in my opinion, but that's only because I'm not really attracted to blondes (I preferred Cam over Daniel in the books too).
The main plot, of course, stayed true to the book, although various changes were made to certain scenes. These changes improved the overall story though, in my opinion. For example, the party at Cam's room was turned into an outdoor bonfire in the film. Also, the way Luce "confirmed" that Daniel was actually an angel was much more dramatic in the movie because she actually jumps from the top of the school building knowing that Daniel would somehow save her before she hits the ground. Other changes, such as Penn's family background, were minor enough that they weren't really noticeable.
I must say, though, that a lot of the information from future books was included in the movie, including the fact that [SPOILER ALERT] it was Lucifer who put the curse on Luce and Daniel, and that Daniel's inability to choose a side in the heavenly war is the reason the fallen angels are stuck on earth. There was also an additional scene in the movie where Daniel shows Luce glimpses of her past lives via the Announcers, whereas in the books, Luce only found out about the Announcers and their true purpose at Shoreline without Daniel in Torment.
However, these changes were necessary so as not to confuse the viewers who haven't read the books yet.
Sword & Cross was exactly how I imagined it when I was reading the books, so kudos to the filmmakers for choosing the perfect location for that. They perfectly captured the gloomy atmosphere and vibe that was ever-present in the book. Unfortunately, the cemetery was not included in the movie, which would have been fine except for the fact that one of my favorite lines in the book was actually said by Cam at the cemetery during his picnic with Luce: "Just pretend we're in a Smiths song".
As for the special effects, I could not be happier with how everything turned out. My biggest worry before watching the film was how they were going to pull off the "wings" of the angels without it looking too cheesy or cheap. Luckily they did a great job, because the wings of the angels looked visually stunning especially during the battle scene at the end.
Did I enjoy the film? Yes I did, immensely. Would I recommend it to others? To be honest, I would only recommend it to those who have read the book. To be perfectly frank, the movie was by no means a masterpiece, nor do I expect it to win any big awards, but as someone who has read the books and enjoyed them, I was thoroughly satisfied with how the film version turned out. I just wish that some of the other characters had gotten more screen time, such as Arriane and Gabbe, who both unfortunately faded into the background for me.
One thing's for sure though, I definitely can't wait for the film version of Torment, the next in the franchise, to be released. In the meantime, I shall be praying for a movie adaptation of the Hush, Hush book series by Becca Fitzpatrick.
Fallen angels are the new vampires, people! Take note.