A 14-year-old girl name Susie was murdered and tells us her story from in between the real world and heaven. As she is stuck whilst wanting vengeance on her murderer and hoping her family are alright. We see the story from before Susie is murdered and what she got up to in the days up until her death.
The two main reasons I wanted to see this film had to be that Peter Jackson directed it and Stanley Tucci has an Oscar nomination to his name for his role in this film. I have always liked Tucci as he seems to put in very good solid performances in a supporting role for which ever film he appears in. However, while he was good in this I am left thinking that the supporting male role’s must not have been up to much this year as I found his performance in “Julie & Julia” to be better than his role in this film. I just felt he was lacking something in this film.
Anyway, Susie’s family are struggling a lot to cope that their daughter went missing and was murdered especially as her body/remains were never actually found. This could have provided solid closure for the family and they could mourn the death of their daughter/sister. However her father was determined to find out who murdered his daughter. He begins to suspect pretty much everyone in the neighbourhood and starts checking their backgrounds as the police do not seem to be searching anymore. In this time Susie’s grandmother has moved in with the family to help them out, but her mother then decides to move away from the family.
The scenes showing Susie in her heaven where everything was beautiful and could be however she wanted it to be were really visually stunning and quite spectacular at times. Showing water, hills, mountains and bright blue skies. Sometimes when something bad was happening in the real world which Susie was still watching her surroundings would match her mood and not nice to look at. She would shout and scream in an attempt to warn her family of something bad that was going to happen.
While watching you wonder how her family has not thought that Mr Harvey was the one to murder her. As he is always shown creeping about and looking rather suspicious. However her father eventually figures it out, but without any evidence the police cannot do anything about it. Harvey is plotting his next victim who just happens to be Susie’s sister who manages to break into his house for some evidence!
The film brings up some questions around the grieving process and how you have to deal with losing someone in your family and how it can tear the family apart.
Performance wise I thought Saoirse Ronan put in a very good performance (and I did not realise until reading about her after that she was in Atonement) showing the innocence a child posses very well and a whole range of emotions. Mark Wahlberg never seems to let me down (I will let The Happening be a one off) and is so believable in the father who has lost his daughter, you want to cry with him. I am starting to think that I just don’t like Rachel Weisz, maybe she just seems to play characters that are not meant to be totally likeable but she annoyed me yet again in this. Susan Sarandon is an actress I love and her presence just makes everything better!
Overall, it has some very interesting concepts and ideas about what happens when you die. If you have some unfinished business or your not ready to leave the people you love behind what can happen to ensure you are all ok when you have to move onto another world or the afterlife.