This film is based on the first three books of A Series of Unfortunate Events. I’m not an avid fan of the series but I have read the first book, The Bad Beginning, and it was great. Like the books, the film is filled with dreadful events yet shows a little humor – enough to make you hope for a happy ending. But don’t get you’re hopes too high.
The story is about a Happy Little Elf who happens to enjoy quirky songs accompanied by lovely birds and other lovely creatures you can think of. The film is done out of clay and shows gleeful scenes. Am I right? Wrong. The narrator goes to warn the audience that if you love happy ending go see another movie.
The story is about the Baudelaire children suffering from the clutches of an evil and greedy villain. The Baudelaire children are blessed with uncanny skills. Violet, 14 and the oldest, is an inventor. She fancies herself on machines, both simple and complex. Klaus is a bookworm and it is safe to say that he have read thousands of books and at least one for every subject, which makes him a sure winner of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Top this: everything he read he remembered. Sunny, the youngest , is a baby. She busies herself on biting, almost anything and like every baby, she speaks gibberish language. These are the reasons they survived every threat and the reason that makes the film interesting.
The unfortunate events starts when the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Baudelaire died from arson. The Baudelaire children are then left in the custody of their “closest” relative named Count Olaf – the most unfortunate event and the sole reason they kept having such events. Count Olaf attempts to steal the Baudelaire’s fortune. But since Violet can’t have them until she is 18, he resorts to the most easy and practical way – killing them.
Emily Browning, one of the main characters of Sucker Punch, plays violet. Although her performance was not great, it was good enough to hold you through out the story. The most notable act was of Jim Carrey as Count Olaf. He refurbish Olaf from being dull and serious to a funny, intense and lively character – which reminds me of his The Mask. As if that was not enough, Meryl Streep plays a grammarian and paranoid character.
Some of scenes, both anti-climatic and silly, reminds us that this macabre film is still aim for children. If you start to tamper with the story’s rationale, you will end up hating yourself or hating the movie.
The picturesque setting is overwhelming, from a dingy and dilapidated mansion to the reptile room, full of snakes and one time a three-eyed Tibetan toad.
I can’t fathom why people don’t listen to children or perhaps don’t take them seriously. Maybe, that’s why Lemony created this story. We should listen to the children not because we need to but because, as a person, they too have some stories to tell or mishaps, for this matter.
One of things that merit the books authenticity is here in the movie. Probably better. Lemony Snicket, the narrator, is telling the story on his cranky type writer. His warm voices guides and excite us for what is ahead.
The film also leaves us a thoughtful ending that no matter how unfortunate the Baudelaire children were, they are, in some degree, fortunate. One more thing, don’t forget to watch the animated credits roll. It is wonderfully made.
This is film has a sequel – that is the phrase I want to be fact. Sadly, the creators found that the film achieve less in the market than they expected. But let’s get real. Whoever saw this movie wants a sequel.
PS: I never knew Emily Browning was this cute: extending my arms at full length.