Friday’s Film Round-up: The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones” is a poignant exploration of the afterlife and the impact of a heinous crime on both the victim and her grieving family. Adapted from Alice Sebold’s novel, the film, directed by Peter Jackson, navigates the delicate balance between the ethereal beauty of the afterlife and the harsh reality of a brutal crime. The narrative revolves around a teenage girl who, tragically, becomes a ghost to the aftermath of her own rape and murder from the vantage point of Heaven. The contrast between the director’s interpretation and the grittier details in Sebold’s novel sparks discussions about the challenges of translating intense and disturbing subject matter to the screen. Some critics argue that Jackson may have shied away from dwelling too long on the more horrific aspects of the protagonist’s death, potentially diluting the impact and rawness present in the original work. Saoirse Ronan, in the lead role, brings a depth and sensitivity to her character that resonates with audiences. Her Mars in Pisces trine Pluto in Scorpio further enhances her portrayal, blending sensitivity with strength and emotional depth. This astrological aspect manifests in her performances, reflecting a powerful will and resilience, especially in challenging and emotionally charged situations.

The experience of losing a child in this manner is something any parent can imagine, and it is considered one of the most devastating events. No parent should ever have to endure such a tragedy. A similar heartbreaking story is that of Molly Bish, a 16-year-old lifeguard who was abducted and murdered. The day before her abduction, her mother reported seeing a man in a white sedan in the beach parking lot where Molly worked. It is believed that Molly’s assailant deceived her by pretending to need help. When she approached him, she was abducted. Astrologically, Molly had natal Mars in a challenging square aspect to a Saturn-Pluto conjunction, a tough and potentially malefic combination in the horoscope with implications of violence.

“The Mars Saturn contact has long been associated with violence, either given or received, and whilst not the usual manifestation, it is by no means uncommon. People with tight hard aspects (Mars-Pluto), and not uncommonly the conjunction will often themselves have had a history of physical violence, cruelty or sexual abuse.” By Sue Tompkins, Aspects in Astrology

The emotional impact of “The Lovely Bones” is undeniably powerful, and the scene where Susie’s murder is juxtaposed with her family’s seemingly ordinary dinner, is particularly poignant. This moment captures the cruel contrast between the innocence of family routines and the sudden, irrevocable shift that occurs with the tragedy. The act of piling extra vegetables on Susie’s plate as a form of punishment for being late becomes a gut-wrenching symbol of the family’s unawareness of the horrifying events unfolding elsewhere. It highlights the tragic irony that while they engage in a mundane, everyday activity, their beloved daughter is experiencing the darkest and most traumatic moment of her life. The audience is left with a profound sense of helplessness, watching a family on the brink of a life-altering tragedy while they remain blissfully unaware.

This scene is a testament to the film’s ability to evoke deep empathy and stir a range of emotions. It forces viewers to confront the fragility of life and the abruptness with which it can be shattered. The contrast between the family’s laughter and the impending Plutonian tragedy amplifies the emotional impact, making it a pivotal moment that lingers in the minds of the audience.