Friday, April 6, 2018

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner | This Should Be Adapted into a Movie!

Starbound #1
Date Read: Feb 20 to 25, 2018
First Published: 2013
Young Adult, Fantasy
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
I've originally read THESE BROKEN STARS in 2014 and loved it. But as I did with many of the series I read back then (and now, too, but let's pretend this illness has gotten better, okay?) I just kind of let the series dangle with no conscious intention to do so.

But 2018 is the year for change, or at the very least the year to make myself feel slightly better about the abysmal state of my series reading, and that starts right here, right now, with the Starbound trilogy.

Now, I'm going to do something slightly different with this review. Mostly because, as I was reading it a second time, I couldn't stop this feeling that THESE BROKEN STARS will lend itself beautifully to a cinematic adaptation. Maybe by throwing this fact out there the gods of Hollywood will hear me and make it happen.

Now, as books and movies definitely move in different rhythms, the pace will have to be adjusted. The book illustrates the difficulty to survive, stranded on a deserted planet with no means of communication, by emphasizing the long journey. The inherent tension of the travel as well as the tension between our characters. On how it stretches them thin and threatens to destroy them mentally, more than physically.

The movie, being a movie, will add more mortal peril to the whole experience because while the book has just enough of that to be perfect, the movie will just need more. So I'm certain we will see more of the strange wild-life the planet has to offer, perhaps more danger with the Whispers and certainly more injuries will be sustained (eek!)

I'm okay with that. I'm okay with that because the movie wouldn't need to change much else.

Like, take our main characters Lilac and Tarver for example; who wouldn't watch a movie about the haughty, beautiful society girl who's just too afraid to let anyone too close (for good reason), and the ragged, kind-hearted, handsome young soldier and war hero who get stranded together after a horrid spaceship crash à la the Titanic?

Space is all the rage right now, Titanic has been a smashing box office success for a reason, Survivor is on its 36th season, and we all enjoy watching good looking faces on big screens. A recipe for success!

Then let's talk dialogues. You could keep them almost entirely intact (although let's be real they won't. Studios love changing dialogue. Sigh). They're fun, they're banty, they're occasionally flirty and it's so great when they are. And the delicious and thinly veiled sexual tension throughout the whole thing is definitely something Hollywood would love.

And let's not forget the contained and limited cast that allows you to explore two characters and their growing relationship, as well as the environment and the toll of isolation. Now, sure, Hollywood does love having huge ensemble casts where each audience member can find a character to connect to, so that may deter them a little bit, but it's also cheaper to have a very limited amount of actors for 75% of the movie! lol

Now, the setting is another thing that I think movie execs would love to pounce on. First of all, there is a wonderful duality of beauty and cruelty in the setting, as well as two opposite backdrops that somehow blend seamlessly. And holy hell would they be absolutely stunning on the big screen.

First, we have the Icarus, an advanced spaceship traveling in hyperspace on a luxury cruise. Imagine our heroes traveling the deck, with the windows outside showing the smudged lights of the stars as the ship passes them by. Here and there floating trays will offer food and drinks, screens and holograms will tell of news and sales. And between all that technological advances, there are the upper floors of the rich and famous, where they gallivant in Victorian dresses and corsets, pretending to be something they have only read of in history books. Already extremely compelling, right?

But then it all comes crashing down, in what would be an epic sequence of mayhem and horrifying destruction, and all the slick and manufactured perfection will give space to a land abandoned by men, where nature grows wild and creatures that shouldn't exist walk around. Where the sky breaks open and showers rain and snow. And death. All equally beautiful, yet equally repelling.

Admit it, I'm selling you over here.

And then, on top of all these great things, on top of a story of survival and love, bravery and redemption, of real versus fake, of people having more than one side to them, of right and wrong, there is a mystery.

Because the Icarus should have been indestructible - what was its iceberg? Why is no one coming to save them? Why is the planet abandoned, when it shows clear signs of human interference. And if Lilac And Tarver aren't going mad... what is the source of those visions, of those... whispers?

You're completely sold on the movie?? Wonderful. It doesn't exist. Go read the book instead, it's better than the movie (could be) anyways ;)

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