When I read the first pages of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, I instantly thought that it would make for an amazing movie! Well, my wish was grated and Tim Burton did an adaptation.
But did he do the book justice?
Jacob is devastated after his grandfather dies. He decides to trace his grandpa’s history and travels to Cairnholm, Wales. There his grandfather spent some time in an orphange but as it turns out, not in an ordinary one. It’s full of extraordinary children who can summon fire, are invisible or can fly. To protect the kids Miss Peregrine created a time loop in which they can live in peace.
But they are soon to be in grave danger and only Jacob can help to win this fight.
Book vs. Movie:
As usual I’ll start with my thoughts on the novel. There was some really special about the book. I even remember when I saw it at a book shop and instantly picked it up because of the cover. The novel actually features tons of old photos Ransom Riggs gathered at flea markets and therefore creates a unique atmosphere. Believe me, those authentic pictures are really intense, you just can’t look away.
Moreover, Ransom Riggs created a story that is purely magical. The way he describes things will give you vibrant images!
What I appreciated most is that he’s really good at avoiding clichés. Stories like this are usually bound to reach a point where you’ve just heard it before, where it’s almost impossible to come up with something truly original. Riggs manages to write a fresh story that definitely differs from everything I read before!
So, let’s get to the movie. As you can probably tell by now, I was super-stoked to find out not only a film will be made, but it will be directed by Tim Burton, one of my favourite directors. I believed him to be capable of perfectly bringing the somber atmosphere of the novel right to the screen. However, I’m not quite sure how I feel about the finished film.
First of all, some severe plot changes were made. I know that usually happens with adaptations but in this case I had the feeling the studio didn’t believe in the film too much. The first novel ends with a cliffhanger. The movie actually has a sweet and sugar-coated ending. To me it gave off the impression that nobody even thought a second part possible so they rather made it one self-contained movie. Now that it turned out to be quite a box-office success there will of course be a sequel.
I’m not even sure all of the plot makes sense the way they put the story. I’ll have to re-watch it and give some stuff a close second thought.
Another thing I’m not to sure about is the way the peculiar kids were depicted. I am aware that they are children, but in some aspects the movie made them feel far more childish than the book. I also wished they had stuck to the photos from novel a bit more. Some of them were actually featured in the film but in general the atmosphere just wasn’t there.
I’m still not sure whether I like the movie or not. However, the novel is absolutely brilliant and certainly worth checking out!
Did you watch the film? Read the book? Let me know in the comments what you think!