I went in with high expectations and I’m pleased to report that I didn’t come away disappointed. Here are my spoiler-free thoughts on this incredibly moving film.
I posted a reasonably short review of the book written by Patrick Ness in my May 2016 wrap-up post and looking back at it now I seemingly didn’t find it that brilliant. I think that’s a little odd given my excitement in anticipation of the film adaptation – perhaps leaving it a month between reading and writing my review dampened my thoughts. Regardless, I was very much looking forward to seeing how the book would come across as a movie and how true to the original plot it would remain.
Thankfully there weren’t too many changes, primarily due to Ness writing the screenplay I imagine. The biggest omission was that of Conor’s friend Lily in order to keep the story a little more focused but I can’t say I missed her. There were a few other minor things that weren’t included such as evidence of the tree ending up inside Conor’s house but on the whole it felt true to the book. Similarly with the additions that were made it all worked to serve the film’s purpose. I especially liked the final scene but that’s quite a big spoiler so I won’t mention that here.
Story aside the film is visually stunning – the CGI was seamless, the animated artwork of the monster’s stories was beautiful and there were some fantastic cinematic shots. The acting from Lewis MacDougall was quite something and I hope he receives recognition for his emotional performance. I also enjoyed the music, especially when it cut out with the rest of the sound altogether as the resulting silence really packed a punch.
Overall it was a fantastic film and I highly recommend seeing it at the cinema if you’re able to.