Peter Jackson’s 2009 film, The Lovely Bones, is based off of the New York Times bestseller novel written by Alice Sebold. Both the book and the movie adaptation tell the story of a young, 14-year-old girl named Susie Salmon who is brutally murdered by her neighbor. In both versions, Susie narrates her story from the place between Heaven and Earth, the “in-between,” showing the lives of her family and friends and how each of their lives have changed since her murder. However, the film adaptation and the original novel differ in the sense of the main character focalization throughout, the graphic explanatory to visual extent, and the relationship between the mother and father.
Throughout Jackson’s film adaptation, the primary character focus is on Susie herself. Following her through the morning, before her murder, at school, to her first meeting with Ray Singh, and eventually her adventures and meetings of new friends in the “in-between,” the focus is never left off of Susie for too long. In Sebold’s novel, the focus is mainly on Susie’s family members and their lives as Susie watches. Each member of Susie’s family is thoroughly explored in the novel, while in the film the lives of each family member are not focused on whatsoever. Susie’s sister, Lindsey, is explained in the novel graduating high school, moving out and meeting Samuel Heckler, and eventually marrying and having a child with him (Novel). The movie, on the hand, only shows brief moments with Lindsey, never showing her graduate or going into the extent of the relationship with her later husband (Movie). In the novel, Buckley, Susie’s younger brother, is shown growing up and being able to physically see and hear Susie while she is in the “in-between” (Novel). In the movie, Buckley is only featured in a few scenes, never changing in any physical ways as to show aging. Also in the movie, Buckley is never shown actually communicating with Susie, while in the novel they had many interactions...
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