Not So Beautiful Creatures

Normally I wouldn’t make a blog entry this late into the evening as it’s currently 1:00am here on the east coast, except I just came from a movie that I was extremely excited about seeing and instead left very disappointed. The movie I went and saw was Beautiful Creatures which is based on the book series by authors Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia.

A few months ago I saw a preview and read that this movie was similar to the whole Twilight series but instead of vampires and humans as the focus, it was witches and mortals. I thoroughly enjoyed the Twilight series on screen and while I didn’t read the books, I decided to do that with Beautiful Creatures. And I loved it immedately. While the books do draw some similarities to the way the Twilight series was set up with good versus evil concepts, they really are two completely different works of fiction. Within a matter of a few weeks I had already gone through the first book and the second book. By the time the movie arrived in the theaters a few days ago, I was buried deep into the middle of the third book with high hopes for the first movie to be as engrossing as the book series had been.

As the lights dimmed in the theater and the previews rolled out, I anxiously awaited the opening scene for the movie and then it finally arrived…in a different version, quite different from how the first book began. I shrugged it off and said oh well to myself and continued to watch with anticipation for many of the sequences that I was looking forward to seeing how they would translate onto the screen. Most of them never came. Scene after scene, storyline after storyline, change after change, the movie seemed like a completely different piece of work. While the foundation of the story was kept intact about a witch, referred as a Castor, and a mortal, with no special abilities, meeting and falling in love and finding their love to be taboo because of a curse, the things that made the book unique were missing. As I watched the credits start to roll after the last scene to this Romeo and Juliet tale, I noticed that there had been very few people there watching it. Was that because of all these changes that were made? I don’t know. What I do know is that on opening weekend of a Twilight movie or a Harry Potter movie, a person would be hard pressed to find an open seat.

All of this got me to thinking about my own life. When I was a young boy, I was quite original and unique in my own way. Sadly, when I got into high school, I began to change those parts of me, altering myself to ways I thought people would like better. By the time I left high school and college behind, most traces of that boy inside that was unique and different were gone. From the outside image of me, to the talents that I pursued, what the world saw in me now was a mere fragment of what I had originally been scripted as.

Luckily, I’ve woken up to the chameleon effect that I created and about a year ago, I began to strip away all the layers that were pasted on top of the original me. Ironically, now at the age of 40, I’m back to doing most, if not all, of those same things I did as a kid. The difference today is that I don’t want to change them, alter them, cover them up, or make them any different. I want to be me. And I believe that the new/old me that is emerging will be liked by many more people as compared to the life I had lived up until last year that was filled with sadness and loneliness.

Like Beautiful Creatures, I lived my life from high school to last year continuously adapting to meet what I thought others might like. And consistently, I lost the interest of those I met most likely because I wasn’t original and unique anymore. I had made myself a carbon copy of what I thought people might like. Except I’m not the way anymore and I’m thankful for that. My license plate is now “BURSLF” which means “BE YOURSELF”. And today I am. I’m back to being that boy again, living his life as original as I can be, beating to my own drum and I believe that people are going to love this original recipe much better as time goes forward.

I wish Beautiful Creatures had done the same and stuck to what was in print. I’m convinced that this was the reason why the theater had only a handful of people in it on opening weekend and why the box office numbers were showing it in a dismal sixth place in earnings. At least I can go back to the original me but this movie is already produced and forever on a reel in this version. But who knows, it’s Hollywood and remakes happen all the time. Beautiful Creatures, just be yourself, it’s the best way to be.

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson