Disclaimer: This movie review of How I Live Now is spoiler-free for both the movie and the book. You can read my review of the book here.
I really enjoyed How I Live Now. If you’ve read my book review of How I Live Now, you’ll know that I had some issues with the main character Daisy but I loved the book as a whole. Similarly, that’s how I felt about How I Live Now the movie.
The movie is a little bit different from the book, which is completely understandable as book to movie adaptations go. The movie generally follows the same premise about the book — Daisy is being shipped off to the UK, her aunt has to go to a business convention of sorts and leaves the children at home when the war starts to break out.
I felt that movie-Daisy was more intense. She’s meaner, nastier and is pretty much really rude to everybody. In the beginning there are shades of her having some kind of mental issues, where she hears voices in her head and criticising herself which isn’t evident in the book. She doesn’t really do anything but keeps to herself most of the time. I already had some issues with Daisy (from the book) but looking at it as a whole, I think the intensity adds another layer of dimension to her character. I quite enjoyed Saorise Ronan’s portrayal of angry-Daisy, I think she captured the essence of what the character is like (except angrier).
The relationship between Daisy and Edmond is a little strange and gave off this paranormal-vibe to it especially towards the end of the movie. But as a whole it was alright. Movie-Edmond is really good looking, which helps me like him a little bit more but he doesn’t really talk much in the movie either so…
The visual elements of the movie helped to bring out the nature of the war and the difficulties that these kids go through because of the war. It is more evident, it is clearer and as visuals go, it depicted how I imagined t would have been like in the book. I really like the location it was shot, it is incredibly beautiful and the cinematography in general was wonderful. It does have some slightly darker content than the book, and overall more intense, but it worked.
I really liked the movie — I’m not going to compare which is better but in terms of staying true to the overall concept, yes, the movie does the book justice. But I think the movie holds its own as a really good film that will make you feel all the feels.
I’d recommend you reading the book as well as giving the movie a go.