This is a guest review from Jeffrey Rule. Thanks for the submission!
This movie is based off of the Sue Monk Kidd book “The Secret Life Of Bees”, which I had read just a couple of months before the movie came out. It is a story of the hard life of a child whose mother is dead and father who shows no love. Lily killed her mother completely by accident when she was little. She is now 14 and has little recollection of her mother. All she remembers of her mother is what T. Ray, her cruel and unloving father, has told her. It seems the only person who loves Lily would be the family servant, Rosaleen. The setting of the movie is right in the center of the civil rights movement in South Carolina.
The dialogue of this film was quite good, but how couldn’t it be with great actresses such as Queen Latifah, Dakota Fanning, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson? This is one of the few movies that can really capture an audience. The dialogue was very believable and made you feel as if it was really happening. But it is no surprise that when you hire great and experienced actresses, you will get great dialogue. I found that the dialogue also fit the book quite well.
With such big name actresses in this film of course you cant expect anything less then greatness. The acting was excellent on all ends, but I found the acting of T.Ray by Paul Bettany a little off from the book. It was great acting on his end, but compared to the book he didn’t fully seem to capture the anger of T. Ray in my opinion. The acting of Queen Latifah and Dakota Fanning was extraordinary. You can see every emotion they are feeling through their eyes. Alicia Keys also did a fantastic job. Acting was fantastic from every character. These parts seem made for the characters that played them. They really fit the roles well.
The Plot was great. They did a fine job with connecting the book and the film, except for a few minor details: Lily runs away from her father who hates her, and sneaks Rosaleen out of the hospital when she would have been going to Jail; Rosaleen dumped her tobacco juice on the the shoes of a white man, who beat her up afterwords. The two run to a city whose name was on the back of a picture of Lily’s mother. Lily was looking for any information on her mother, and she ends up at the Boatwright sisters’ house.
The plot is very complex and would take me days to explain in detail so I suggest to watch it and find out yourself. Read the book as well. You wont be disappointed.
I didn’t really find the music of this film very special. The music did fit the film, and it was good music but it wasn’t musically spectacular. However, I did notice there was at least one Alicia Keys song in the movie which I kind of figured since she was a main actress in the film. I found that song pretty fitting for the end credits
Overall, The Secret Life of Bees is a great movie and book. It’s a heartwarming, tear-jerking drama with some comic relief. Its a very “everything ties together” kind of film. It shows not only the rough times of a little girl who wants to be loved but also the rough times of African Americans through the civil rights struggle. If you like uplifting, life-story drama movies, than I highly suggest this film. It’s a direct hit on all targets. It was also produced by Will and Jada Smith which I thought was a cool piece of trivia.
I guarantee this movie will be played on lifetime sooner or later. And by the way, I personally would never make my daughter kneel on a pile of grits for an hour.
Platinum Squid Rating
A Rollercoaster of Drama!