I loved the book so I was so damn curious to see how it would translate to film and I thought Peter Jackson would rock it out. I hate to say that I was a little disappointed.
The book goes through the period of some years, the father’s obsession, the mother’s growing distance, the other daughter’s battle to mourn yet still grow as her own person and Susie’s struggle to deal with the loss of her life.
I wasn’t concerned on how they would pull off the whole “in-between” world Susie stays in but how the film would carry the course of the book. To me, it was choppy and rushed. I didn’t think the movie would show all the years the book covers but I thought some things would be chosen then progressed out, but instead there was no steady pace and the flow was out of sync.
Maybe my loyalty to the book kept me from enjoying the mixed sequence and added plot point moments in the movie but it just kind of annoyed me.
I’m ashamed to admit that the best performance in the movie was of the killer, George Harvey played by Stanley Tucci. Every time he was on screen, I was disgusted and uneased yet, he played the role fantastically. His Chester the Molester comb over, pedophile gaze and unsettling presences breathed life into the soulless monster I’ve only known as text on pages. Tucci gave that monster a human form yet still held all of those horrific qualities.
*Spoiler involving the end of the book and movie, highlight below to read*
The one thing that angered me about the book was that Harvey was never caught. He left town and the family along with Susie had to accept it. The broken family found their way back to peace and Susie had one last moment on earth then moved on. Even I was forced to accept that Harvey maybe would be caught for another crime or die and be forced to deal with crimes in a more spiritual manner, but I was never given that satisfaction of knowing for sure if that would be the case. The movie gave me what I need. George Harvey died a horrible death in the end and it gave me and the audience some solace. We could leave the theater feeling however we wanted to feel about the movie as a whole, but to know that there was some sort of justice for Susie and all the other people Harvey killed, made everything easy for me to swallow.