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"Tiger Eyes" Movie Review
"Tiger Eyes" Poster
"Tiger Eyes" Rating
Story line of "Tiger Eyes"
When I was a young teen I loved Judy Blume's books. I read every single one of them that I could get my hands on at the public library. Along with "Deenie", "Tiger Eyes" was my favorite of her books. I read it probably around three times. I was exhilerated and afraid when I heard "Tiger Eyes" was being made into a movie. I was worried if I saw it if it would ruin my memories of the book and if it would portray the characters all wrong. I felt that the reason why Judy Blume's books have not been made into movies prior to this one was because no one could create it right and that was why book to movie adaptions of her books were avoided. I also felt that there aren't enough female directors and only a female director could create the perspective of one of Judy Blume's books accurately and do it justice. I was concerned to hear "Tiger Eyes" was being directed by a man but also interested that the director was in fact Judy Blume's son, Lawrence Blume. After watching it I was very happy with how it turned out. It's exactly how I imagined it for the most part.
The story line is about a girl named Davey who lives in Atlantic City. Her dad is shot and killed during a burglary of his sandwich shop on the boardwalk. Her mom and little brother and her move in with her mom's sister in Los Alamos to get away and for her mom to recover from the loss. Davey's aunt begins controlling the family's lives. Davey meets a guy while climbing who tells her to call him Wolf and she says he can call her Tiger. The develop a friendship of sorts and climb the rock faces in the area together. Davey also makes friends after enrolling in the high school with a girl who works hard to be perfect but is really suffering from low self esteem and an alcohol addiction. Davey resents her aunt interring with their lives and suffers throughout the movie through her pain at the loss of her dad and this new environment she finds herself in. This movie is very emotional. It's very serious and somber in tone.
I think the writers of the movie script did a good job. My only issue with what they did is Wolf and Davey never kissed and Davey doesn't see him again at the end in the book. Wolf was also a lot more mysterious. Davey never learns more about him until the end of the book and in the movie more information is provided about him sooner rather than later.
Davey is portrayed to the T by Willa Holland. At first all I could think was that I was concerned about her portraying Davey like Kristen Stewart played Bella Swan with no emotion (she looks a little like a cross between Kristen Stewart and Nina Dobrev from Vampire Diaries which is why I was worried), yet I was concerned for no reason. Willa is amazing here. She's full of emotion and expression. You can see what she's thinking or feeling in every scene. She portrays Davey exactly how she was written in "Tiger Eyes" and is never monotone like how Kristen Stewart ruined Bella Swan's character in "Twilight".
Now the rest of the cast is a little good and bad. Davey's friends Wolf, Jane, the old man in the hospital, and Ruben are okay. I guess I visualized Wolf with shorter hair but other than that Tatanka Means is pretty good in the role. He is a bit wolfish in looks so that works well and I liked that they made him pretty sensitive and kind to Davey. He was way more aloof and mysterious in the book but it was nice to see more of him in the movie versus in the book. Jane is okay, but the script doesn't really develop her too much where you get to see how self destructive she is proved to be and what a really bad friend she turns out to be. The old man in the hospital is really close to how I imagined him. He's a bit of a reminder to Davey of her own dad. Ruben didn't have a big part in the book but he was given a bit more here and seems to be a friend of Jane and Davey. He's so so in here. He doesn't add too much more and I felt that Jane could have been developed more in the time they gave him a few more lines.
The actress, Amy Jo Johnson, that plays Davey's mom is alright in this. She and Willa are well cast together as mother and daughter as they look like they could be related. At times she seemed a little out of character and I wish they'd shown her struggle with the loss of her husband more deeply. Davey's brother is decent although he's rarely shown. Davey's aunt and uncle are spot on. They're controlling, overcautious, and not used to children, exactly like how they were written. I remember hating them while reading the book. Every little thing that they had a problem with made me as angry as how Davey was. I definitely hated them in the movie as well.
"Tiger Eyes" Movie Poster
It's a beautifully filmed movie simply put. I like independent movies because they seem to want to be as real as possible. They aren't trying to make something that looks fake and impossible for humans to achieve. The scenery is lovely, the camera shows scenes where you feel like you're standing there along with the characters and facing their same struggles.
Wolf and Davey
The music captures the tone and the sensitivity of all the characters. Yet it's definitely not over the top dramatic. It's down to earth and makes you feel rooted in the story and the emotions the characters feel. I especially liked the Michelle Branch songs in the movie that were played at the beginning and at the end as if to show each place of Davey's journey to heal after her dad's death.
"Texas in the Mirror"
"What Don't Kill Ya"
To Sum It Up
This is a nice watch if you liked the book "Tiger Eyes" or like independent movies. It's main character is a young adult, yet all ages will be able to appreciate it. I wouldn't recommend this for children as it has violence, blood, gun violence, some profanity, some domestic violence, underage drinking, and some intense emotional scenes. I give it a four out of five stars.