It’s always tough being a movie buff and a book nerd, but it’s a cross I’ve got to bear.
As seems to be the norm, I’m a big believer in reading the book first. I love finding out what my imagination can come up with. However, I also love watching movies and seeing their interpretations.
Over the years, I’ve become quite good at disconnecting the book from the movie, meaning I can enjoy them both for what they are – but that doesn’t mean I don’t notice the differences.
Today, we’re going to talk about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, originally written by Ransom Riggs and adapted to screen by Tim Burton. Please let me know your thoughts down below, I’d love to hear them!
- Emma Bloom. I’m sure it has escaped no book reader that Emma and Olive’s powers have mysteriously been switched for the film. I know some people will find this offensive, however, I actually really enjoyed the change. Giving Emma a light peculiarity contrasts her fiery personality beautifully, leaving more room for character development, and creating a more original power for our female protagonist. We’ve seen flame throwers in every superhero movie every made, but a girl lighter that air is just a hint more original – don’t you think?
- The ending (spoiler alert!). In the novel, we are left with the image of the teenagers floating out to sea in their row boats in the search for the other ymbranes. In the movie, we have a seen of CGI skeletons and hollows fighting, in the present, on Blackpool Pier… a bizarre change. Personally, I found this particular plot twist a little hard to swallow, but it did make for a more action-packed climax than we received in the book. Mostly, I’m just curious to see how on earth they transition into the next movie!
- The setting. I’m not an emotional person, in fact, I’m frequently accused of being made of stone. However, when I first saw the island of Cairnholm, I nearly let out a little sob. It’s rare that a movie can so seamlessly capture a setting as perfectly as in Miss Peregrine. When I saw the Priest’s Hole, it was exactly as if my mind were being projected onto the screen (much like Horace). Bravo Mr Burton! Bravo!
- Casting. Overall, I have few casting complaints. They decided to age Olive slightly, in the movie she is closer in age to Emma that to Claire, however, this does help to range the average age of the cast and makes the story a little more realistic.There’s nobody who is think was ‘wrong’ for their part, some of the interpretations were a little different than I had expected (Fiona, for example) but I don’t think it overly upset the story.
- The Hollows. The hollows aren’t really what I had pictured, but then I suppose what I pictured wasn’t CGI’d! To me, they really could only have come out of the head of Tim Burton – I think in my head they were scarier, the movie version looks a little too friendly (which makes sense as is definitely tailored towards a slightly younger audience (but I’m twenty and still loved it, so don’t let that deter you!).
- The pace. When I first read the book, I found the beginning chapters really hard going. I wasn’t hooked straight away, it took me nearly 50 pages to get into it, but once I was I flew through it. The movie, for obvious reasons, is much faster paced, so if that as a deterrent for you when reading, the movie might be just your cup of tea.
- How time works. In any story including time travel, there’s going to be differences, but I was surprised that they changed the concept of time travel between the book and the movie. In the book, what will be will be, as history has already been set, meaning nothing the Peculair Children do will change the outcome of history. However, in the movie, killing the hollows in 1940 brought Abe back to life in the present. I’m not saying I disagree with the change, but I’m curious to see how they can maintain this through the plot of the next couple of plot lines… will all their actions have consequences? How’s it going to work?!
- Overall thoughts. As a stand alone piece, I think it’s a great movie, but it definitely uses a lot of artistic license with the plot. Rather than viewing this movie as a reincarnation of the book, I would suggest looking at it as a companion, an adaptation… not a twin by any means.On IMDb, I gave the novel 4/5 stars… as for the movie, I’d give a 3.5/5, above average, good fun, great for Halloween, but not something I’m going to watch again and again and again (fun fact: I saw Finding Dory in the cinema 4 times!)
What did you guys think of the movie? Can you forgive it for deviating from the book?