I’ll be completely honest with you. I haven’t read the books and there is only maybe a 10 % chance I will. But this evening I went to see the movie this evening because the trailer looked good and I adore Lily Collins (Her Audrey Hepburn-like eyebrows may or may not have something to do with it).
So here’s my take on it, a non-having-read-the-book-view, of The Mortal Instruments:
First off, it’s a pretty film, disregarding all the demons. But the lighting was nice and warm, which was the first thing I noticed.
So to the story: A girl who lives in Brooklyn turns 18 and starts drawing a mysterious symbol for no apparent reason. Her mother, who has all the answers, tells her to come straight home. Clary decides to go to a club instead where she sees a bunch of funny looking guys with knives kill an even stranger looking man with sparkly eyes and screams – Turns out she was the only one who saw anything.
Her best friend, who – obviously – is secretly in love with her, assumes she may or may not be going crazy as she keeps talking about a guy with a knife. She confronts “guy with a knife”, but before many aspects can be clarified her mother calls who, in the meantime, has been attacked by demons and a demonic dog. They keep yelling: “Where is the cup? Where is the cup?”, but her mom is awesome and beats them up, then drinks something that knocks her out for…the rest of the film. But before that she calls her daughter tells her not to come home, she doesn’t listen to her mother once again and she runs over a cyclist on her way home, only to find a huge mess, no mother and a demonic dog that tries to kill her. She manages to cause an explosion and burn it, but it seems immune to such weapons. Clash-Bash she’s saved by “guy with knife” and so on…I’ve just realised this is way too detailed.
Anyway, she finds out she’s a shadow-hunter like her mother, they look for a cup, vampires look for a cup, it’s the same cup, one of them is gay and a lot of complicated family relations…demon invasions, portals, werewolves, kisses in a garden and of course a motorcycle.
So there…what did I think of it?
I liked the choice of actors, Lena Headey does a great job at playing mom/kick-ass-shadow-hunter/sleeping beauty and she looks a lot like Lily Collins, so good casting.
Often in these type of fantasy youth films where the young protagonist is thrown into unknown worlds through a trail of misfortunes they seem to just shake it off and also, know how to fight even though they’ve never punched a fly. In Clary Fray’s case they made a good job of showing her process of dealing with everything. Also, her first kill (it’s a vampire) is made out to be a large step for her. They draw a fine line between her strong personality and her humanity.
But as it is with famous novel cinematizations, producers or writers tend to pack too much into one film. Towards the end I could hardly remember what happened before because there was one overwhelming scene after the other.
Oh – and the love story…was…so obvious. I know it’s always clear who will be snogging who in the end, but at least give us the satisfaction of finding out we were right after a row of subtle clues and sexual tension! Don’t spell it out for us! Make us thing we’re smart!
This love story fulfilled every cliché there is to a classic love story: The near-death experience, two hot people, kisses in the rain, a piano and a poor third wheel. The only thing that was missing would have been chocolate or maybe a letter.
But there were some scenes – scenes I will not reveal in a blog post – that were pretty epic. I have faith that the second one will be an improvement.
So what’s my conclusion? Good movie, unfortunately though there was something missing. The film was not completely harmonious in itself, but everyone has to build their own opinion.