Saturday, December 5, 2015

How I Live Now Movie Review

Daisy, an American girl is sent to the English country side to live with her cousins she's never met before. When she arrives she is greeted by her underage driving cousin Issac who then takes her home to a very chaotic household where her other two cousins Piper and Edmond. Her Aunt is busy studying the effects of war and shorty after Daisy's arrive hast to leave for Geneva. The next day a nuclear bomb explodes in London and the authorities of the United Kingdom declare a state of siege. The kids are left to fend for themselves. During the first few weeks the war doesn't seem to phase the kids. They camp, play, swim fish, and while Edmond and Daisy fall in love. The reality of everything sets in once the children are separated by the military, which sends girls to one camp and men to another.With Edmond and Daisy promising no matter what they will get back to one another and return to their farm they are forced to go their own ways.

I had recently saw a quote from this novel and knew right away I had to pick it up.

"Now let's try to understand that falling into sexual and emotional thrall with an underage blood relative hadn't exactly been on my list of Things to Do while visiting England, but I was coming around to the belief that whether you liked it or not, Things Happen and once they start happening you pretty much have to hold on for dear life and see where they drop you when they stop" 

I was about half way through when someone told me it was a movie.  The second I finished it I went straight to Netflix and turned it on. The reason I decided to do a review of the movie and not the book is so simple... The movie blew the book out of the water. I don't think enough people know or talk about this movie. The first thing that movie did better was raise the age of the kids and took the incest factor on a more romanticize route. Yeah you didn't read that wrong... There's incest in this movie. Much like the book Forbidden it's very heartbreaking. When we are first introduced to Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) she is just your average bratty teen filled with so much hate and annoyance for being forced to leave her home. After meeting Edmond (George McKay) he slowly starts to change her attitude about having been forced to live with them. The kids are just living their lives and trying to pretend the world around them isn't falling apart. All being so naive about what is happening around them. Daisy relationship  doesn't just grow with Edmond but with her other two cousins as well. However Edmond and Daisy start to form a sexual relationship and over a few weeks fall in love. 

Side-note: Where the heck did George McKay come from?? Adorable much! Where the heck has this adorable boy been?!?! 

When the war finally catches up with them Daisy and Piper are sent to live with a general and Issac and Edmond are sent to a boys camp. Soon after arriving at the generals house Daisy decides that her and Piper will escape, head about to the farm, and meet up as promised with the boys. After several weeks of planning and on the night of another attack Daisy and Piper escape and start making the very long journey home. Director Kevin MacDonald doesn't fear heighten the insentience in their travels home and doesn't steer clear of squeamish or heart punching moments. Where the book lacks action MacDonald loads the audience up with plenty of on the edge of your seat moments. He does all of this while having the film hold such a gritty beauty to it. How I Live Now is one beautifully pieced scene after another. I was really taken back by how beautifully everything came together. It has a Behind Enemy Lines kind of feel to it.

Not only is the filming and story-line and visuals gripping the character development is wonderful as well. Daisy goes from an unreliable unlikable narrator to a strong willed beyond determined lead you'll be rooting for. She realizes that she has to do all the dirty and immoral thing she never thought she'd have too, to get back to the dirty immoral life she wants. I didn't think this film would be one that affected me as much as it did. How I Live is such a solid film with an ending I didn't see coming. I thought with how events were playing out we would either get option A and things would play out one way and we would end up crushed. Or we would get option B and we would end up with our happily ever after ending. I didn't realize that there was an option C. This left me very stratified.

10/10 stars