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The Space Between Us Review (2017) | How to Waste a Good Story

A beautiful concept wasted! I remember urging a lot of people to watch The Space Between Us owing to the sheer fact that its trailer tried to sell a dope story. I mean just try to image a child who’s born on Mars. He doesn’t know a thing about Earth, never been to it, everything he has learned so far is via a screen on his desk.

Now when you try to bring such a person to a world that he doesn’t understand, wouldn’t you be more interested in knowing about his perceptions? What he thinks about our planet? What fascinates him? It was supposed to be an exciting journey akin to the movie Room where you get to be at the same frequency as the protagonist of the story. Unfortunately, The Space Between Us is garish and shallow. It’s like a chick flick that is supposed to give you mere cheap thrills. With that last line, I must say teens are going to love it nevertheless.

Direction of The Space Between Us

Peter Chelsom directs nice. But the only problem is that he has to learn the difference between what’s deemed childish and what’s profound. The first half of The Space Between Us is quite intriguing. It grows great for a buildup but then mid-way after begins to derail. The movie doesn’t even have a morsel of gravitas to it from that point onwards and you wonder if it’s yet another teen movie after all.

still of Asa Butterfield and Britt Robertson in The Space Between Us

The point where he chose to go with the part where Gardner is trying to enjoy Tulsa as she blushes asking him to stop makes you want to shake your head so bad. It could have been put in subtly but Peter had to be loud about it.

“What is your favorite thing about Earth?”

Even as Gardner asks the aforementioned lines to strangers it feels like weirdly scooched in. He is suddenly saying that out of the blue without his character banking on something solid to chew upon. The movie chugs forward without focusing on how difficult it is for a Martian to adapt to our environment. Even Tulsa gets introduced in a snap. Don’t even think about going into the Science enclave!

You can buy The Space Between Us here:

That Awkward Plot Twist (Spoilers Ahead)

Gary is an Old Man. Why him? That’s one of those climax scenes the movie hides or rather tries to hide in an attempt to drop the mic eventually. It, of course, makes you question poor casting choices of the movie, even though Gary is an amazing actor, he doesn’t quite fit the bill, owing to how old he looks.

Gary Oldman‘s character Nathaniel Shepherd has a relationship with Sarah Elliot played by Janet Montgomery. When you see the movie take form there is one voice in your head that says Okay so Gary must be Janet’s father. But the movie hushes you soon and you stop thinking in that direction. It is a deliberate attempt to misguide you, and you can sense that as well.

But when you find out for real that Gary the Old Man is actually Gardner’s father it becomes weird and awkward at the same time. He just doesn’t feel right! Period.

The Final Verdict

The Space Between Us does put in you smiles. You like how the movie progresses. There is always that premonition there where you kind of predict what is going to happen. You know that there is a happy ending lurking given the theme of the movie. But all that stretching of cheesy lines and love doesn’t for a second let you get serious with it.

You can watch it if you want to feel some good romantic vibes, also if you are an avid Britt Robertson or Asa Butterfield fan. Just know that there isn’t anything dire to look forward to.

You can check out the trailer of The Space Between Us here:

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Review (2016) | Fantastic Plot

Tim Burton‘s knack for the queer continues. This time he picks up Ransom Riggs‘s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children off the shelves. But the big question is he able to deliver a proper literary adaptation? The answer is not quite. I would say Miss Peregrine ends up becoming a tad unremarkable for its remarkable tale. However, its story can’t be overlooked either. If you pay heed to the plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, you will realize that it takes one hell of an imagination to think something so beautiful! For that I can’t thank Ransom Rigg enough.

Plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Spoilers Ahead)

If you take the beautiful plot of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children into account, you will be surprised to know how intriguing its story-line is. It skims on the surface of time loops that is an adventurous topic per se. Jake, played by the meek mien of Asa Butterfield, is visiting his grandfather Abe who used to babysit him when he was young.

Grandfather Abe

Abe would tell him stories about peculiar children showing him photographs that would tingle his senses. In his story a Lady Peregrine, who could turn into a bird (Peregrine good guess there!), used to take care of the children with strange mutant like abilities in a huge house. However, growing up, Jake came to believe, all his stories were nothing but sham. Lost faith in his Grampa’s vision, he ends up going aloof from him.

still of the peculiar children in miss peregrine movie

Once when paying his Grampa a visit, he encounters a strange man standing in the middle of the road, some blocks ahead of Grampa’s abode. Clueless he moves on. On reaching there, he finds his grandfather dead and without his eyes. Before dying Abe asks Jake about a bird, a loop and the year 1940. Confused Jake fails to understand, when he finds a gargantuan tentacled beast in the woods. Aftermath, he ends up in therapy.

Visiting Cairnholm Island

His constant struggle with what his grandfather was trying to tell him, compels him to visit an island called Cairnholm to look for clues. He coaxes his father into taking him there. Jake finds the house of the peculiars there, however it’s in tatters owing to a certain German bomb attack that had burnt the house to cinders in 1940. Trying to satiate his curiosity, the bold Jake ventures in to have a look. He finds photos of the children that confirms his Grandfather’s stories. But then out of the blue he finds them all alive. Scared he tries to run, but ends up knocking himself out.

Brilliance of Time Loops

That’s when the plot of the story starts shaping up too. On waking up, and realizing they were for real he follows the children to a cave. Unknowingly, he enters a time loop that takes him to 1940. He finds the Peculiar Home intact. That’s when he gets to meet the gorgeous Peregrine lady played by Eva Green. Miss Peregrine is an Ymbryne who can manipulate time. She has, along with her children, taken refuge in a time loop that she had created moments before the bomb attack.

still of eva green as miss peregrine in miss peregrine's home for peculiar children

The beauty of this very concept lies in its surreal poetry. Every single day living the same life over and over again, knowing everyday is going to end with that same wretched bomb dropping from the sky. Every single day goes by without them ageing, in constant fear of being discovered, and trying to hide under the blankets of time. Such a beautiful thought! But unfortunately, Tim Burton doesn’t milk this enough. The beauty of its poesy disappears along with its constantly running frames. You can’t help but blame the movie’s sped up editing for it.

Dark Antagonists

Like any yarn, galloping towards a direction, we are introduced to elements of perversion here as well. They are called Hollowgasts or simply Hollows, people who became monsters as a result of an experiment gone wrong. Misshapen they can’t be seen with naked eyes (unless you are Jake or Abe of course). Hollows hunt for peculiars as that’s their only chance to become a tad normal. They are known as Wights. Barron is the head of the wights who has been trying to hunt down more Ymbrynes to continue his experiments of immortality.

still of a hollowgast or hollow in miss peregrine movie

The real tension begins when Mr. Barron follows Jake to their timeloop who is then followed up by a ghastly Hollowgaust. Tim Burton uses peculiar children’s abilities to help each other out from that situation. A bomb drops and their loop forever shuts down.

It is then when Jake and the other peculiars decide to save Miss Peregrine and other Ymbrynes from the clutches of the evil wights. That becomes the sole theme of the movie afterwards.

You can pre-order Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children here:

Major Drawbacks

The first obvious one was Shelly, the non-peculiar. Her reaction when she finds oddity going on in the real world is not what we expect. It is as if Tim Burton has taken it for granted that everybody is okay with a tinge of eccentricity. I mean, if I was there, I would have first freaked out. The abnormal absent reaction of Shelly will make you think,

“Is she for real?”

Then moving on to Miss Peregrine’s character. To be really candid, Eva Green wasn’t really fit for the role. Okay, she does bring a rare sense of grandeur to her character but was that really enough? Her portrayal was very unconvincing and forgetful. Could it be because of the limited screen-time she had?

There was nothing motherly about her portrayal, if she was supposed to be the caretaker of those children. Somehow I felt a stronger character was supposed to be the call of the hour that no one took. The script demanded someone powerful like Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep or Emma Thompson for that to matter.

Burton’s Bleak Time Loop Representation

With time loop being one of the major driving forces of the tale, Burton’s depiction ends up becoming really bland. Tim Burton’s loops are empty. They come and go at odd hours without packing in much theatrics which ebbs its colossal import. At a time where the ending fight should have mattered the most, the backcloth score of a carnival makes that huge showdown a laughable affair.

Samuel Jackson plays a non-serious villain trying to introduce some humour through his acts. He is alright actually. He makes himself less scary even though he looks terrifying. The Whites of the Wights ( their eyes) were enough to terrorize little kids who had come thinking it was a Disney movie.

still of Samuel Jackson as Baron in Miss Peregrine

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children isn’t really dark. But there are dark elements in the tale nevertheless that are trying real hard to throw in different angles. But the depiction of it all ends up becoming more fun than gloomy. What makes it so is not only just the odd placement of music by Matthew Margeson and Michael Higham but also its less terrorizing banal acts. You can also count both stop motion animation and the CGI of the movie in whilst judging it.

The Final Verdict

To drop the final gavel on this, I would say it is an enjoyable ride nevertheless. However I do wish to see a perceptive TV series made on Ransom Rigg’s book, to capture the beauty of its ravishing story in pensive time frames.

Having trouble understanding the time loops in Miss Peregrine movie? Read our article on: Miss Peregrine Movie Explained

Check out the trailer of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children here: