This fantasy, based off of the novel written by authors Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl and starring Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson, is about Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) who falls in love with a girl who has family secret which involves a curse. Ethan and Lena (Alice Englert) have to endure the gossiping towns people, opposing family members, family history, and the pending curse to keep their relationship together.
I chose this film because I kept seeing pictures of the movie poster all over social media and in stores. I never did catch the previews for the movie but I knew the basics of the story being about witches and this appealed to my taste for the supernatural. I am very glad I did not pay to see this while it was in the theaters because I was sadly disappointed.
The beginning is kind of dull as it takes a while to get to the heart of the story. It opens with the main character, Ethan narrating the story. The character has a horrible southern accent that, while appropriate for the setting of Gatlin, South Carolina, it is something that sounds like the screeches of banshees. My first thought while viewing the film was that it is like Forrest Gump meets The Craft.
Looking for a positive, there are many great actors included in this film with my favorites being Viola Davis and Emma Thompson. Viola Davis played her character Amma very well and gave the role depth and it was very interesting to hear Emma Thompson with a southern accent but she pulled it off surprisingly well.
Thompson was given the task of playing Sarafine, a character posing as another character who was crazy. It was so entertaining to see her play the character and she did it in a way that made it believable. I also liked the character of Macon Ravenwood, played by Jeremy Irons. The character was sassy and full of wit but also self sacrificing at the end.
There are more negative aspects to the story and film. There is an overabundance of hypocritical religious people, with the kids at the school chanting prayers in the class to terrorize Lena. Ethan and Lena make references to the movie Titanic, which is so overdone and tired. The music is definitely not my taste but I suppose it did seem to fit with the overall feel of the film.
Also, I did not like the ending of the movie when Uncle Macon Ravenwood dies and the story surrounding Ethan. The audience is not given a clear answer regarding his relationship with Lena. There is one small hint which is not enough to count as a happy ending.
Although this movie has an excellent cast with a story that could have had potential, I do not recommend this film.
Lots of great actors
Slow to start
Story had potential, but it never came to fruition.