ARE YOU A PECULIAR?
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is the first novel written by Ransom Riggs. Got the chance to grab hold of this uniquely engaging and delightful to read book two years ago, a children’s book, so even if you’re 90 years old you must definitely read this (unless you’ve lost or let go already of that childhood innocence, that sense of wonder and awe). And so, I was super duper excited when I learned that this was turned into a movie last year, directed by Tim Burton, who, by the way, directed the unforgettable and funny and weird 1988 movie, “Beetlejuice,” where I first saw Winona Ryder and Michael Keaton as a child.
I caught the movie adaptation on its second day of showing last September 29 in Philippine cinema. Though there are parts in the book that I’ve forgotten already, particularly the ending haha, I am definitely sure that there have been some parts from the book that weren’t followed by the scriptwriter or by Tim Burton. Example, in the book, the one who can do the levitation is Olive but in the movie, it was Emma, the love interest of Jake the male lead protagonist, who can do the levitation and can fly. There’s a scene from the book that would have been scary to watch but I didn’t get to see that in the movie probably because it’s hard to condense a 382-page book into a 2-hour film. I sensed that the intention may have been this: That if you’re busy and don’t have time to read the book, catch the movie adaptation to get a glimpse of what are written in the book. That this is for the kids and for the kid-at-heart. If you’ve lost that kid in you already, you wouldn’t appreciate the movie, even a tiny bit. In my case, after watching the movie, and though I’ve read the book once, I am curious to read the story again. And read its second and third novel of the continuing story.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” is a story of Jake who had been told by his grandfather of so many magical and scary things while growing up and his grandpa said they’re all true and he, as a little boy, believed all of them. Like the peculiar children in Miss Peregrine’s house that can do amazing things, that have mysterious abilities. When Jake became a teenager, he started to doubt his grandpa’s stories until he saw the tragic death of his grandpa, until he saw a strange image that may seem to prove that his grandpa’s weird and strange stories could be true. Until one day, after being allowed by his psychiatrist to take that trip to this island that his grandpa strongly advised him to go before he passed on, he met these peculiar children in a time loop. A time loop where a day is being repeated over and over again and nobody gets old while they stay in the house of Miss Peregrine, also a peculiar that could turn herself into a bird and stop and manipulate time, to protect themselves from monsters called the Hallowgasts who crave for peculiar children’s eyes and eat them to gain power, strength and dominate their world. And Jake, who wasn’t aware that he was a peculiar, too, was given this tremendous responsibility of protecting the rest of the surviving peculiar children for he was the only one who can see them.