The Lovely Bones

Here’s a movie that will get you thinking about many things.

First, the eternal, persistent question of whether heaven, hell and purgatory truly exist… and if they do, what do they look like and what would it feel like to be there.

Here, they say that in heaven, you have no memory. But there’s nothing but lasting peace. And here, everything that ties you to this Earth is finally severed and you’re just free to be.

In some way, it brings comfort when thinking about the frightening prospect of mortality and death.

And then, it also gets you to think about the ever-elusive thing called justice.

For most of my life, I’ve been taught that when we’ve been wronged, we leave it to God or the Universe to mete out whatever punishment or consequences one rightfully deserves. So all my life, I’ve taught myself to just calmly accept the wrongs done to me by others and just move on, in the belief that the universe has a way of putting things to right. Never seek vindication yourself because ultimately, it’s not for you to decide what another human being deserves.

I’ve rallied this moral issue for a long time. In serious discussions with my husband, and on separate occasions with my mom, I’ve always said that people get what they deserve. And they’ll get it when the Universe wants it, and how the Universe wants it.

This belief has always brought comfort to me, and has helped me bring comfort to others. It has always helped to think that for as long as I live a good, decent and honest life and do no wrong to others, everything will ultimately be okay. And conversely, those who choose to take the path away from goodness will also get what they ultimately deserve.

And so does this question now linger in my head a day after watching “The Lovely Bones“. He (the “bad guy”), eventually suffers a gruesome death.

I found myself questioning though whether this kind of justice or vindication was even close to being enough. Perhaps it was too much to expect that while heaven is beautifully painted in the movie, that maybe they’d give a glimpse of hell too… just so we could see if truly, bad people do get what they deserve in this lifetime and beyond.

And finally, the thing about moving on from grief. To many, it’s a reality today and everyday. Suffering the death of a loved one; continuing to live with the pain brought about by abuse and maltreatment; coping with catastrophic mistakes that have an almost permanent effect on people you love…. everywhere we turn, there will be someone grieving for something.

In its painfully real depiction of how people deal with grief and the long journey towards finding a middle ground, I do love how this story paints the picture that at the end of seemingly never-ending battles with pain, there always comes an ending and a silver lining. Nothing in life is permanent… not even pain. And perhaps for as long as we never give in to despair, there will be better days.

From the standpoint of a movie, as usual, Peter Jackson and his crew have created a beautifully done movie. The CG is awesome and awe-inspiring. Although it did border on being a bit too cheesy and emo at some point, bravo nonetheless for the quality of storytelling and cinematography. Casting was, as always, impeccable. Screenplay and script… well, could’ve been better at some point. But not bad, on the overall.

The best stories I’ve seen, heard or saw were always the stories that left me wanting for more. The kind that made me feel it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t over, and that I still wanted to find out what happens next. These kinds of stories, cheesy as this may sound, that somehow change a little bit of me or how I see life, the world and everything around me.

I still can’t decide if I really liked the movie or not. Some things about it, I liked a whole lot. Some, I didn’t. But yes, 24 hours later and I’m still thinking about it. And I will definitely buy the book.

A movie that does this to you and more… ain’t such a bad thing.

If you’ve seen the movie or read the book, drop me a note and tell me what you think. If you haven’t, hop over to your local video or book store, borrow or buy a copy, then share with me what you think.