I had read and enjoyed the book The Secret Life of Bees. Since I was dubious how to get the incredible richness of the written language as well as the complexity of the bee metaphor into the movie, I did not go and see the film in the theater. After several friends and blog readers said I’d like it and should see it, we checked it out on DVD, and watched the “directors cut longer version” last night.
I enjoyed the movie well enough, but it does not begin to approximate the book which ran much deeper than its story line for me. Queen Latifa was truly wonderful as August, and the characters and settings in general met with my expectations from the book. There were some gorgeous moments with shards of light reaching like tendrils through the forest, or the sun rendering honey jars as glowing luminescent all lined up dutifully at attention on the shelf, that began to hint at other dimensions beyond the obvious.
The bee/ hive metaphor and the book’s intriguing spiritual dimension was lost, however, leaving me a little flat. But I’d still give the movie almost four stars, for its message of hope, love, and belonging.