So I watched the movie adaptation of ‘The Last Song’, and if you’ve read my last entry on my reading the book, I’m sure you can understand that I was skeptical about seeing the movie. But, with that being said, there was a bigger part of me that was curious to see it, and I enjoyed it, but I did feel like there was something missing.
The aesthetics of the movie were everything I’d imagined it to be, from the beach house, the carnival, will’s home…were all depicted visually as I’d imagined as well as being more beautiful – as did the characters, bar a few such as: Scott, Marcus & co, Blaze and Ashley.
For some reason I’d imagined Scott to be the opposite of Will, so brown hair, brown eyes, however, still quite built, maybe a little bit more so than Will. Though, what I was met with was, what I felt was, a scrawnier, more annoying and lesser attractive version of Will (played by Liam Hemsworth.)
Also Marcus and his gang – ok maybe not so much his gang as they are quite forgettable, as they have no real purpose in the story other than being Marcus’s henchmen – I felt were a bit of a let down after reading the book, as Marcus is described as being quite big with loads of tattoos, quite and overbearing character, so much so that Ronnie sees him as scary. However, in the movie he is much more ‘pretty boy with a slight edge’, and I felt he didn’t carry the same vibe or have that substance to him that the Marcus in the book is described as having.
As well as this, Blaze looked completely different to how I’d imagined her, I don’t know why but I’d Imagined her as being quite short, with a short black and choppy haircut, more of the look of a scared girl who couldn’t look after herself but was desperately trying to hide it behind rebellion. However, in the movie she just looked ill, almost like a drug addict, I mean I know she’s not supposed to look flushed with good health but still.
And lastly Ashley, I just envisaged her to look more slight and cutesy, like I know she has that bitchy streak running through her, but in the movie I thought she looked very bitter, twisted and just not as pretty and cutesy as I’d imagined, but that’s just down to personal imagination.
However, apart from these instances the characters were near enough described down to the wire of how I’d imagined them, which again shows, the quality of Sparks’ writing to paint pictures in people’s minds.
Also, they missed alot from the book out – which in most cases is a given as you can’t possibly include everything – however, I feel that some things could’ve been made time for as it would’ve given the movie a bit more of a serious substance throughout, rather than centering around the love story for the main part of the movie and then adding in the serious element near the end, sort of like it’s just been tacked on in there.
For instance, (and this is just all off of the top of my head…) the shoplifting incident was made to be less of a big deal than it could’ve been, using a bracelet instead of the multitude of valuable collectibles the book describes – therefore making the crime worse – and because of this the subsequent court appearances were scrapped, which was a big part of Ronnie’s rebellion, making it more serious than just typical sulky teenage rebellion.
As well as this alot of content concerning Will’s brother Mikey wasn’t included, such as the IMTF (in my thoughts forever) bracelet and the connection between that incident, Will’s friend Scott and the subsequent power Scott seems to exert over Will regarding the fire at the parish. (Whilst in the movie the twist in which the real perpetrator is revealed is scrapped) which is what led me to think that Scott would’ve been built differently to Will, as in the book they have a few altercations regarding the subject, and Scott is a lot more vehement in his argument, but in the movie he just kind of gives in, as I get the impression that the movie version of Scott knows Will could take him in a fight.
Also, whilst Ronnie’s turbulent relationship with her dad is highlighted, the hiding of the piano in the alcove wasn’t which later plays a part in Ronnie mending the relationship with him in the form of finishing his song.
Other things I felt could’ve been included just for dramatic effect and tension to give the movie a bit more substance were: Will’s sister’s speech to Ronnie, Blaze’s mishap with the lighter fluid, and the original ending from the book, as it shows Ronnie’s personal journey as well as how love can be maintained over time.
All of these elements could’ve given the film a more serious element rather than making the film into a typical teenage romance movie, when the book is anything but. Yes, it is a love story but it centres more so around the drama.
However, this doesn’t make the existing film bad, as, as I said, I liked it, it did just feel it could’ve been made into less of a cheese fest and more of a drama. Speaking of, I loved Miley Cyrus’s performance in the movie as it showcased her talent as a serious actress rather than her ‘Hannah Montanna’ counterpart that everyone knows her for and type-casts her as. However, I think the inclusion of her singing talent (maroon 5’s ‘She Will Be Loved’) was a bit obvious and felt like it was just thrown in there, that’s not to say it wasn’t good, I just felt it was a bit unnecessary.
But as I said, I really did enjoy the film, and if you haven’t read the book you’d probably enjoy it, (as I did with A Walk to Remember) however, if you are a die-hard fan of the book and have high expectations for the movie you may come away from it feeling a little disappointed.
My advice is to not go into it with any expectations and just have a completely open mind to it. 🙂