Movie Review: Fallen

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Do you believe in angels? Heaven and hell? According to stories and the Bible, angels are God's army residing in heaven. They are spirits with some having wings on their back. Although we often visualize angels residing and worshiping God in heaven, some of them are here on earth for a mission—to protect and guide humans. They say each of us has our own guardian angel. We may not see and feel them but they are with us guiding us all the time, throughout our life.

Hello everyone! Today, I'm having another movie review that involves angels. The movie is entitled, "Fallen", which is based on the first book from the novel series "Fallen" written by Lauren Kate.

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Official movie poster of Fallen.

"What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?"

- Fallen

Fallen is a story about a teenage girl named Luce Price, who was sent to Sword and Cross by her parents in hopes that she'll get over the shadows and to atone for a crime she didn't even want to happen. Being admitted to an isolated school for delinquents that requires only black clothes for the dress code, and monitored by surveillance cameras, Luce dreaded each day of her stay. But little did she know that all the answers to her questions will all unfold in her stay at her new school, even the inexplicable attraction she has for Daniel like she have known him very well.

The Fallen movie had been long planned and finally it premiered in theaters last November 10 in Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. It was directed by Scott Hicks and distributed by Lotus Entertainment. Meanwhile, the novel was written by Lauren Kate and was recognized as a bestseller book by New York Times.

(video source: Trailers Hub via Youtube)
Offical trailer of Fallen.

Fallen is just one among of those novels turned into movies. Many say the movie has this feeling of similarity with the sensational film Twilight where instead of vampires, angels lead the story. Probably, people who have came up to this conclusion still haven't read the novel and only relied on the movie trailer. If you were to ask me about these two movies, I would say, Fallen and Twilight are never the same. They are different in so many ways, except that the girls in both stories were trapped in a love triangle.(Lol!)

Anyway, I'd like to share with you some of the characters in the story and I'll try my best not to give too much spoilers so you'll still have something to get surprised on when you see the movie.


Lucinda Price (played by Addison Timlin)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Addison Timlin as Lucinda Price.

Lucinda Price or Luce in short, is a good daughter and a bright student having excellent academic records in Dover Prep, her previous school. Although Luce's life seemed perfect and normal in other people's point of view, there is one secret only she could tell is true—the shadows. Not even her own parents would believe when she said there were shadows haunting her. She insists that the real culprit to the death of Trevor, her boyfriend, were those shadows. Her visions of this supernatural thing were seen by the doctor as mere hallucinations resulting to lots of medications, while the death of Trevor which she was accused of doing, led her to the reform school Sword and Cross.

Luce heavily despises the reform school because of its dead and bland environment, several security cameras and prohibition of so many things. And most of all, she hated the thought of being brought into a reform school and meeting all kinds of delinquents. It scares her a lot that all she wanted was to return home the moment she step foot on her new school. But as days passed, she had made friends to a few students and got mysteriously engrossed to a boy named Daniel. Curious, she and her friend Penn researched about Daniel's past which eventually led not only about Daniel's identity but also about who she really is and the inescapable fate bounded in her.

Daniel Grigori (played by Jeremy Irvine)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Jeremy Irvine as Daniel Grigori.

Daniel Grigori, also a student of Sword and Cross, is Luce's ray of sunshine inside the dull air of the school even though he pushes her away from him. He does his best to avoid and stay away from Luce like she is a plague he's so afraid to get near of because he knew meeting her and loving her would lead to an inevitable tragic ending. Of all things, it was the most painful scene he hated to see, Luce vanishing away right in front his bare eyes. When Luce insists of seeing him somewhere before, Daniel would fend her off, all for Luce's sake. It is the best way he knew to protect her from the curse.

Cameron Briel (played by Harrison Gilbertson)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Harrison Gilbertson as Cameron Briel.

Cameron Briel also known as Cam, is a boy who competes with Daniel for Luce's love. He is alluring and somehow has all the connection in school for he can easily have access to the prohibited things. He does everything to grab the attention of Luce to deviate her sight from his rival.

Cam believes that choosing him over Daniel is the best choice for Luce because it would save her from her destined death.

Arriane Alter (played by Daisy Head)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Daisy Head as Arriane Alter.

Arriane Alter is Luce's first acquaintance and friend at Sword and Cross. She admires Luce's short hair and even requested Luce to cut her hair as short as Luce's. Arriane has an odd personality or probably sassy, but she had been there for Luce on perfect moments to save her from the mad and aggressive Molly.

Arriane has a large scar somewhere at the back of her neck which she doesn't want to talk about.

Molly Zane (played by Sianoa Smit-McPhee)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Sianoa Smit-McPhee as Molly Zane.

Molly Zane, also a student of Sword and Cross, despises Luce very much. She appears to have known Luce's crime even without anyone telling her, which really made Luce surprised and frightened. Crazy, bully and a real psycho that pose a great threat to Luce's stay in the reform school. Although even appearing strong and a bit uncontrollable, she is not feared by the sassy Arriane.

This tough girl takes on every opportunity to make Luce miserable and warn her to stay away from Daniel, like getting close to the boy was the most evil thing that could happen in the world.

Gabrielle Givens (played by Hermione Corfield)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Hermione Corfield as Gabrielle Givens.

Gabrielle Givens also known as Gabbe is one of Daniel's friends along with Arriane. Girlish, well-maintained manicure, bright clothes that sets her away from the sea of black clothes in the campus, and a vibe of having a normal personality, it is a big question for Luce of what this prim girl is doing in a boring reform school. As days passed, Gabbe's closeness to Daniel irked Luce making each of Gabbe's presence an unpleasant vibe for Luce.

Apart from that, Gabbe is indeed a kind strong girl who completely supports Daniel's objectives all the way.

Pennyweather Van-Syckle Lockwood (played by Lola Kirke)

(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Lola Kirke as Penn.

Pennyweather Van-Syckle Lockwood or Penn in short, is the best friend of Luce at Sword and Cross. She is the kindest among the students and also different among the rest because unlike others, Penn has not committed or had been accused of doing any crime.

This innocent simple girl who wears glasses has complete access on the school records and very knowledgeable about almost anything in their school, and so as a friend, she willingly lent her hand to help her friend gather information to the mysterious Daniel. She also greatly supports Luce's love for Daniel.


(image source: Katsanslimites)
My Fallen book still waiting to be signed by the author herself someday. Hehe!

Just like any other movies based from a novel, alterations to some scenarios in the original story cannot be avoided. Well, I completely understand that it must be done to fit the whole story in the book within the span of around two hours. I'm okay with it as long as they don't completely change the story or the characters.

Therefore, being here in the country where the movie was first released, I am taking this advantage to spill out some of the differences I have noticed between the movie and the book. Yup, right now, the movie is only shown in the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. Other countries can watch it on their cinemas by December or early 2017. You can refer to this link to see their schedules or follow the Fallen Series author, Lauren Kate on Twitter and on her website for the latest updates.

Warning: The next paragraphs may contain tons of spoilers. Please proceed with caution.(Hehe!)

■ Luce's hair
Book: Her long nice hair was cut very short due to the burns it got from the fire during her date with her past boyfriend Trevor. She even avoids looking at her image on mirrors because the sight of her hair makes her cringe.
Movie: Her hair was mid-length long.

■ The school cemetery
Book: Well, the cemetery in Sword and Cross was the venue of some of the most important events in the story. I have a huge expectation of how this place would look like in the movie as it was intricately described in the book.
Movie: There was not a single sight of the cemetery.(Eh?)

■ Penn's parents
Book: Penn's father is already dead and buried inside the school's cemetery. She also loves her father very much. As for her mother, I think Penn had not mentioned anything about her.
Movie: She said her parents got divorced and told Luce that her parents suck.

■ The fire in the library
Book: Luce was searching for Penn.
Movie: It was Todd who was searching for Penn.

■ The necklace gift from Cam
Book: Cam gave a necklace with a serpent pendant to Luce.
Movie: Cam gave a black dress to Luce to wear on their little escapade at a club.

■ The fencing scene
Book: I am sure there was no fencing scene in the book.(Lol!)
Movie: Luce did fencing, part of their school activity, with Molly then to Daniel next. It was good though!

■ Molly and Arriane
Book: You would really appreciate and love Arriane's character while hate Molly in the book.
Movie: Molly took more screen time than Arriane which made me a bit sad. But they did brought out Molly's character really well. I wish they did the same on Arriane too because she is cool and the life in the story in my opinion.

■ The after school party
Book: Only held inside a room like Roland's room because it was against the school rules.
Movie: Well, they were quite not afraid of the rules because they even had bonfires inside the school campus.

■ Arriane's hair
Book: Arriane insisted Luce to cut her hair short as well.
Movie: Arriane has a mid-length hair just like Luce.

■ Swimming with Daniel
Book: They dive and swam together on a beautiful lake.
Movie: No beautiful lake, just the school pool.

■ Mr. Cole missing in the end
Book: Daniel, together with Arriane and Gabbe, sent off Luce on an island through a small plane operated by their teacher Mr. Cole.
Movie: Daniel was carrying Luce as they flew up in the sky.(They even did not mention about sending Luce to a safe place which is on a little island described on the book.)

■ Luce's first encounter with Molly
Book: Their unpleasant first meeting happened at the school's cafeteria and it was Arriane who defended Luce.
Movie: It happened on the school's hallway and stopped by a school staff.(Sorry, I can't remember who the staff was.)

■ The bracelet for the dangerous students
Book: Arriane mentioned it on the early chapters that bracelets are worn to students who are deemed more dangerous than the rest.
Movie: The bracelet thing was never mentioned in the movie.

■ Luce's orientation at Sword and Cross
Book: She arrived on the same day as Cam, Gabbe and Todd.
Movie: Only Cam was there during the orientation.

■ Penn during the massive attack of the shadows.
Book: Penn followed Luce down the cemetery and badly injured an arm.
Movie: Since there was no cemetery in the movie, she woke up on the infirmary's bed where she fell asleep with Luce. Worried where her friend went, she went out searching for Luce.

■ Car versus motorbike
Book: Cam invited Luce to go out of the school by having a nice car fetch her and lead her to where he was.
Movie: Cam had a motorbike which Luce insisted to drive.

■ Cam and Luce escapade
Book: Cam invited Luce to an old bar with very few people inside.
Movie: The place they went to seemed more like a club with a huge crowd and loud music.

■ Luce falling from the balcony
Book: It never happened. Never.
Movie: Luce had herself fall from the balcony to forcefully reveal and confirm Daniel's identity once and for all.

■ Strong Gabbe!
Book: Gabbe, took down Cam effortlessly during a confrontation at the cemetery. I believe it was Daniel who told Luce that Gabbe is really strong.
Movie: Sadly, this part was not included in the movie.


(video source: Fallen Series via Youtube)
A short interview to Harrison, Addison and Lauren at a local television channel.

The movie was launched here in the Philippines last November 10 with author Lauren Kate and actors Harrison Gilbertson and Addison Timlin attending the movie premiere night last November 08 at SM Megamall. Two days before the premiere night, Lauren Kate held a book signing event for her Filipino readers with a back-to-back meet and greet with one of the lead stars of the movie, Harrison Gilbertson, at Greenbelt 5. Well, aren't the Filipinos lucky to have Philippines be chosen as the country to be graced by the author and the actors for the premiere night?(I wasn't able to see them because the venue is too far away from home.) This, too, is Lauren Kate's third visit in the Philippines. She loves the country, isn't it? That's because she has lots of readers from the Philippines! 

I also found a video where they were taught some Filipino words and popular slangs. I guess Harrison really had fun learning new words.(Lol!) 


(image source: Fallen_Series via Twitter)
Cam, Luce and Daniel.

I knew about the Fallen novel through a recommendation of friend during high school. On a school trip in college, I've thought of buying the book and give it a try when we spontaneously went on a bookstore. Surprisingly, I loved the story and immediately bought the second book but still haven't read it until today. It's been hiding on my shelf for almost six years now! I promise to read the second book as soon as possible!(Hehe!)

A lot of people for the past years had been requesting for this novel to be turned into a movie, and I was one among these people who was hoping for our wishes to be granted. Honestly, I just knew about the movie last month and of course like any other fan, I was very surprised and excited. I read the book again to refresh my thoughts about the beautiful and cursed love story of Luce and Daniel. Luckily, I finished reading the entire book just in time the movie landed in my country.

If you were to ask me how good the movie was, I would say it was not like I am expecting it to be but it was good. Maybe I was just expecting too much.(Lol.) And since I had read the book, I was a bit confused with some of the scenes. I can't help comparing it to what actually happened in the book. It felt like something is missing, like the movie could have ended up really well if they had showcased a little more of the side characters. It seems like the spotlight were just on Luce, Daniel and Cam. But I won't protest much on that because they are the lead stars of the story. Aside from that, the climax of the story was a little short for me. Everything just felt it was on fast forward. Well, what do we expect, they have to squeeze the whole story on a very limited time. But again, I believe the movie was good even to those who haven't read the book just like my mom because she didn't fell asleep during the movie.(Haha!) Aside from that, it's cool that the movie had English subtitles included. The subtitles were a big help when Penn talks because there were parts  where she's like rapping more than talking. My poor ears cannot cope up with such fast dialogue!

Anyway, those were just the little things I have to point out. Overall, I am extremely delighted and never disappointed about this movie. I love how all the characters look just as they were described in the book. I wish to see the other Fallen books turned into movies as well!

The Fallen series has three other books: Torment, Passion, and Rapture; and three spin-off novels entitled Fallen in Love, Unforgiven, and Angels in The Dark.

Going back to the quote from this novel, I would ask you the question,

"What if the person you were meant to be with could never be yours?"

What would you do?

Thanks for reading!

✧ Katsanslimites

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