How I Live Now

This looks way more badass than the
actual movie.
"Love will lead you home."

Though sometimes home might be a blasted out shell of its former self! Hello folks, welcome back to The Tagline. Today I'm going to talk about a movie where World War III takes place, but all we get to see is some dreary English blocks and forests. I'm going to talk about How I Live Now, a 2013 film based on a novel of the same name, released in 2004. Really though what movies now are NOT based on a novel? What do screenwriters actually do anymore? Do they even exist? That's something to think about for later, anyway let's get back to the moviebook. How I Live Now follows the life of Elizabeth "Daisy" during a time of civil unrest. For reasons never adequately explored, Daisy has come from the US to the UK, where she will be staying with her cousins for the summer. What is immediately apparent to the viewer is that Daisy's cousins are English rascals always getting into woodsy British hijinks. The other is that Daisy has some serious issues with hostility, and trying to exist in general. She spends time living at the backwoods home of her cousins, and being extremely anti-social, though the movie telegraphs via slow motion staring at each other that Daisy is going to be kissing cousins with her oldest, most handsome cousin. This also opens up the question of why are movies seemingly obsessed with family members making out all the time, I feel like that's coming up more than I'd care for. That comes later though, at first it's just Daisy not talking to anyone and maybe having an eating disorder, again not fully explored. Eventually Daisy gets pushed in a river and then she bonds with everyone because of that or at least that's how the movie makes it look.

Here we get to the big issue with portraying your movie as a series of time lapsed montages with no frame of reference. One of two things happened in this movie, either Daisy opened up to her cousins surprisingly fast and decided she wanted to stay with them forever overnight, or more time passed than the movie was letting on. We just don't really know one way or another, and this is a problem that continues throughout the movie. You see after Daisy opens up, a war starts, and a nuclear bomb blows up London and ravages the countryside with fallout. She is given the opportunity to be evacuated to the US, because she is a US citizen, but she chooses not to. Shortly after, Daisy and her cousins are evacuated, the boys being taken to one place (theres two of them, the older one that Daisy is smoochin Edmund, and the younger one Isaac) while Daisy and her youngest cousin Piper are taken somewhere else. Another indeterminate amount of time passes, before Daisy and Piper sneak away, just as the battlefront reaches the place they were living (and being used as labor to secure food supplies). The two wander through the woods for days, eventually reaching the camp where Isaac and Edmund were trained, only to find it abandoned, with a bunch of piled up corpses in back. After a long, dangerous journey (that probably was about a week long) the two make it back home, only to find the place completely ransacked, and neither Edmund nor Isaac are there. Eventually Edmund does turn up, and shortly after the war ends, though Edmund is scarred by his experiences.

Careful in those there woods.
Again the major problem with the montage model is that as near as I could determine from the movie, the war lasted about two or three weeks. I suspect that was not actually the case, but that was distinctly the impression I was given. Overall you get a very limited view of what was going on, which makes sense to a point certainly. After all you're seeing things from Daisy's perspective. At the same time the movie limits our view of her life even more, to the point that the whole movie is basically a series of time skips and montages, which doesn't really make for compelling or well put together cinema. I would have liked a clearer idea of at least what was going on with Daisy, if not in general. I also would have liked it if she weren't in love with her cousin, but I understand that we can't have everything we want in life. Even then, I found the movie lacking in content and long on dreamy shots of people standing with ambient music playing. As if the movie is trying to reach out and tell you "hey, this is some edgy teen stuff going on right here. Look how deep everything is."

I mean granted, I wasn't especially surprised by that. I sort of knew what I was signing up for when I started good. I find myself having to say that way too much.
Look at this fucking hipster.
watching, but I didn't expect so much vague time-lapsing. In the end it made the movie feel like a summary of another movie, rather than a whole movie itself. The disjointed time span also makes Daisy seem like a really inconsistent, inexplicable character, which I suppose isn't completely unrealistic, but it still makes for an irksome point of view character. I've seen reviews that claim this movie subverts YA cliches, but we were obviously watching a different movie, because this film essentially fit into every cliche I could think of. That was the problem, the movie wasn't terrible, it was just typical, and not especially

That's it for today! Will Lego Movie viewing happen? Maybe, we'll see how my week goes.

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