Chills, Thrills and Kills – Winter Movie Review

The Heart and Soul of The Lovely Bones

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of any movie is the appeal and endearing nature of the characters. The way in which they are interwoven into the plotline and captivate us with their gripping emotional lines and experiences make cinema an attractive entertainment commodity. 

The movie “The Lovely Bones” is an incredible example of enrapturing storytelling and palpable emotional sequences that tug at our heartstrings. The movie centers around the life of a young 14-year-old high-school freshman named Susie Salmon. If we were to be more specific, it deals with the life and death of Susie Salmon and the stepping stones on her path to coming to terms with her death. 

The character depiction of Susie is surprisingly profound. Her character can be extrapolated into a girl who is innocent, gullible, and has a heart full of dreams. She dreams of a passionate career in photography. She also develops a crush in her time in the world of the living. However, her neighbour, who takes advantage of her innocent and gullible nature, lures her to a “Kid’s Hideout.” The last thing she remembers is her neighbour Harvey trying to assault her and her attempt to flee from his den. As the story progresses, she realizes that she never escaped that night and, to the contrary, was murdered by Harvey. She is initially consumed by grief that blinds her and crushes her heart. In the time that she spends in the “In-Between,” one can actually see her go through different stages of anguish such as disheartenment, disillusionment, sorrow, anger, seeking revenge, maturing for a cause, and finally becomes ready to move on upon completing her final wishes. 

Three aspects in the story particularly stand out as the heart and soul of the entire movie. The film’s plot aims to make one ponder the transitive nature of life and earthly things that exist in the realm of the living. In fact, the movie’s narration aims to subtly point out this concept in many different ways. From the start, we are presented with the picture of a girl filled with life, hope, optimism, and vibrance. When her life was taken away unjustly, all her dreams were cut short and rendered a mere memory of those who survived her. The transformation of the perception of a “Kid’s Hideout” into the scene of the crime that is eventually cleaned of evidence in preparation for Harvey’s next victim is also a testament to how replaceable and trivial life can be to a person who has a skewed perspective of it and possesses twisted morals. In the end, despite having to deal with the death of Susie, the inquiry and investigation that followed, and the revelation that the killer was their very neighbour, the family is still able to recover and move on eventually. 

The second element of “The Lovely Bones” is the pursuit of justice by Jack, the detective. Despite the odds, lack of evidence, and infuriating nature of the case, he remains persistent till the end. He embodies the sentiment of “desperate times call for desperate measures” when he is willing to take a baseball bat to the back of Harvey’s head in an attempt to get into his house. While one might argue that his efforts might have been all in vain, it is evident that the family members felt security and relief in some form, knowing that Jack was being focused on the objective. Even when Susie’s family is almost torn apart, Jack does not let things devolve into total chaos by still finding the courage to seek the path towards the light. In fact, Jack’s observations, findings, and suspicions gave Lindsey the courage to look for further evidence in Harvey’s house. One could even go as far as to say that Harvey’s eventual demise is a combination of karmic revenge and the state of panic Harvey was pushed into by Lindsey and Jack. It truly sets the tone for “justice always prevails despite the odds.” 

The last and perhaps the most soulful moment of the entire movie is the ending sequence with Susie. Susie, who has thus far remained an observer to the events that are happening to her loved ones, has finally matured to realize that everything does heal over the passage of time. She has an epiphany when she understands that wounds hurt, and scars that one incurs in life are always succeeded by better things that will serve as “The Lovely Bones” that grow to replace the heart and flesh that is unfairly taken away by life. She even decides to complete her final wish by kissing her “crush” and proceeds to enter heaven along with the other victims of Harvey. Her ending lines speak volumes about all that she has endured and overcome. They reinforce the theme that every lifeform on earth is merely an ephemeral blip in the history of the universe and sooner or later, every human must be prepared to enter the Great Beyond. 

Susie’s Ending Lines are: 

My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was 14 years old when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment, and then I was gone. I wish you all a long and happy life.

The movie “The Lovely Bones” fills one’s heart with fear, sorrow, emotion, cold brutality of the world’s evil and finally fills us with a warm and optimistic ending with a message of hope. In an abstract sense, these attributes are the very things that describe the season of winter. Feeds is, thus, excited to recommend the film along with a few others to avid cinephiles who are in search of an enthralling film for the cold days of winter to come. 

Feeds Top Winter Movie Recommendations:  

  • The Lovely Bones
  • Red Notice
  • Snow White and the Huntsman
  • The Day after Tomorrow
  • Darkest Hour
  • The Seeker: Darkness is Rising
  • Nightmare on Elm Street

This article is written by Amogh Sundararaman

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The official media house of NIT Trichy.

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