Magic and mortals clash to thrill critics

There is always something fascinating about a story that can take the imagination of a magical world and merge it with historical facts that relate to our seemingly mediocre one. In the recent film, Beautiful Creatures, these elements are beautifully produced to tell the story of two teenagers who desperately want to be together despite large extenuating circumstances.

Based on the best-selling book series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creatures tells the story of a down to earth southern boy, Ethan Wate, living in the small fictional town of Gatlin, South Carolina. Growing up in the conformative, highly religious, post-Civil War community inspires Ethan to develop dreams of places and opportunities past Gatlin borders. When Ethan begins receiving visions of a girl whose face is covered by long, silken black hair every night, he becomes haunted with the image of the girl that he is unable to forget.

This all becomes more apparent once 15-year-old Lena Duchannes moves to Gatlin to live with her uncle, who is a cranky, mysterious man who is hardly ever seen by the ignorant community. Due to her family’s well-known indifference, Lena quickly becomes the target of public persecution as she is deemed as a witch under the powers of the devil. Ethan, however, recognizes the girl as the one from his dreams and befriends Lena with an open, caring heart.

As someone who has never read the novels, seeing the movie with fresh eyes immune to preconceived bias helped me to easily critique the movie as a whole. With this in mind, I have to say that the whole production was incredibly moving and left me as a fan of the ingenious storyline.

Newcomers Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert play Ethan and Lena in the film adaptation. Ehrenreich and Englert easily play to audience’s heartstrings as Ethan and Lena battle to be together despite suppression from her magical family because of his mortality, as well as from the ignorant community around them. Their chemistry on screen is incredibly evident and leaves audiences routing for their ability to be together, especially as the plot takes twists and turns that force to tear them apart.