I’m going to be ranting A LOT so you might as well get a beverage to drink while you read this. Because trust me, we’ll here for a while (I have fifteen pages of “notes” on the movie). And hopefully, I’ll be entertaining you in that while.
First, a little backstory
Fallen is a four book series by Lauren Kate centered around fallen angels and how love is the reason everything started to go to hell. Quite literally.
Here’s the Goodreads synopsis for the book:
Well, that was shorter than I expected it would be.
I had read the whole series* almost 4 years back, and to be honest I quite hated it. The first book was sort of okay but it all went downhill as the books continued. But other than the memory that I didn’t like it, I hardly remembered anything about the story. So I thought: why not give the movie a chance. Also, since I hardly remember the book I can’t make a comparison of details between the book and the movie.
*back then I needed to finish reading a story even if I didn’t like it. Closure issues.
My initial plan, which I thought of a few minutes into the movie, was to give you a blow-by-blow reaction. And also sort of narrate the story to you, so you’ll know what happens and don’t have to waste your time watching the movie. But half-through the movie I realised I spent more time writing notes than watching the movie, so I abandoned that. You’ll still get a blow-by-blow reaction but just won’t know whats fully happening since I’m not completely narrating it.
NOTE: THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SPOILERS. Lots of them. Read further on your own risk (but also just keep reading because I don’t want you to save yourself and watch the movie)(not worth it)(my review is worth it)(yes, shameless self-praise but that’s not the point here)
So! Let’s get to it.
the movie starts..
Okay so we’re in a car. The girl, Lucinda/Luce, is listening to music using earphones while in the backseat of a car. She and her parents are headed somewhere. I assume it’s the boarding school Sword & Cross, where she’s made to go.
First impression on the actress: she looks old. I’m sorry but I’m REALLY tired of middle aged actors playing teenage roles. I am DONE with that. We’ve also complained enough that the producers and casting crew should take notice, but no. I can NOT picture her as a 17 year old. (This is where everything started to go wrong for me.)
They arrive at the gate and.. whoa that is spooky as heck. There’s literally fog and the school is in the middle of a forest. PERFECT place for haunted stuff to happen. Or, you know, to find fallen angels.
The school is a little Hogwarts-y. Smaller, but yeah somewhat.
Right as she enters the spooky boarding school, she notices 2 guys. CAN YOU ALREADY SEE THE LOVE TRIANGLE? I CAN.
Guy number 1: staring at her from a window at a higher floor. Still stares at her even though she catches him looking at her. Being creepy af. She moves on and walks in.
Guy number 2: as she’s told the rules of S&C, a guy is brought in by a cop in handcuffs. *BAD BOY ALERT* He obviously takes interest in her from the first look. Keeps staring at her while chewing gum. Swag dude.
Another girl, Arienne, is told to show Luce around. Luce notices that Arienne has scars on her back before Arienne notices and covers up with her jacket. Arienne also notices Luce looking at the bad boy and warns her. “Better stay away from Cam. He’s trouble. The bad kind.” Classic.
OH I REMEMBER NOW! Cam is the dark-haired bad boy. The other one is the golden, troubled boy! The two guys fighting over Luce! Right!
Later in the day, she has a counselling session with a psychiatrist who gives her pills to swallow. She refuses to swallow them, cuz they make her feel uncomfortable. We find out that she’s been having hallucinations of shadows and such since she was a kid. The pills make them go away, hence making her “normal”. She could leave if she takes the pills. Go back to her life.
Luce: “I’d rather be myself and caged than someone I’m not.”
K so then she goes to the library to take her books, and meets super-nice librarian Ms. Sophia—also Luce’s philosophy of religion teacher. In her conquest to find the last book, Luce comes upon a sleeping golden-haired boy with a sketchbook open in front of him. He wakes up while she stares at him and practically runs away from her with a pained expression. #what_not_to_do_when_winning_over_a_girl
In the next scene Luce gets bullied by a girl but that’s not important (much) because later we meet Penn, who just might become my favourite character in the whole movie.
Penn and Luce meet in the bathroom where Penn, in nervousness, blurts that she knows all about Luce’s history, comes off as a stalker, then continues talking to say that she’s not. She then apologises and keeps rambling because she’s nervous. I relate. Luce makes friends with her, and that’s the ONLY thing I’ve liked till now in the movie.
Philosophy of religion class:
VERY ironically, we learn about the story of fallen angels in this class. The thing this book is based upon. The match to the flame which burnt everything down. The match which struck because of Luce. I’m sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself. You don’t know what happened.
What HappenedTM: a not so abridged version by yours truly
In the beginning, there was God and his angels. (Humans too, but they were on Earth and no one cared about them. Pfft.) Lucifer was God’s favourite angel*. One day, he decided that he wanted to go rogue. Do bad things. Be badass. So, I don’t know how things got so dramatic, this thing happened where one by one the angels had to choose sides. With God or with Lucifer.
Until one angel, called the “rebel angel” who said he won’t choose both—said that the only thing worth choosing is Love. *cue angels singing music (not literally)* God got irritated. I mean, come on, his fav has BETRAYED him and now this random guy is spouting off about Love?? God has had enough.
He banishes Rebel Angel and the rest of the angels who hadn’t chosen yet to Earth. Unable to choose sides until Rebel Angel comes to a decision and chooses a side.
Dude! What is this! The rest of the angels did nothing! Their turn just happened to be after Rebel Angel! #unfair
Oh btw, all this because Rebel Angel is desperately in love with this girl. You guessed it, this girl was Luce. (Mind. Blown.)(Right? No?)
*So.. is no one going to talk about how God has favourites? Not cool, God.
Back to philosophy of religion (or what I like to call Teaching Luce what bomb she set off)
So Luce is simply sitting in this class, listening very intently to Sophia. Golden boy is sketching, paying absolutely no attention. Blah blah blah.
Oh and we also find out Luce is not baptized. Everyone stares at her.
Golden boy: *YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME face*
Luce and Penn: *why is everyone staring face*
Take notes, kids. This fact is VERY important.
Wow what an eventful day Luce has had!
Okay so this scene was really creepy and also quite cliche. This is where the cliche was born*.
*Or somewhere else. I don’t really know.
Luce is in the yard, doing yard duty (doesn’t matter why) and she sees golden boy walk past with a blonde-haired girl. She then looks up at one of the angel statues, and yes I said ONE OF the angel statues, which is half-blocking the sun from her eyes. As she sees it, golden boy looks back at her. As they keep doing the same, the statue cracks and BREAKS, falling on top of Luce. At least, it would have, if golden boy hadn’t miraculously pushed Luce aside.
THE STATUE BREAKS, GUYS. But in true cliched fashion, we focus more on the tumble on the grass Luce and golden boy have, ending with him on top of her and them staring into each others eyes making me want to hit my head back on the wall. He suddenly gets off and walks away while she stares after him in confusion*.
*Kinda like Bella after Edward saved her from getting crushed by a car in Twilight. Both equally cringey.
Um, hello, is nO ONE GOING TO THINK ABOUT HOW THE STATUE FELL???
ALSO ABOUT HOW THE SCHOOL HAS MULTIPLE STATUES OF CREEPY-LOOKING ANGELS?
I need to calm. Moving on.
Luce tries to thank golden-boy—Daniel! we FINALLY get to know his name—but he basically tries to run away. Again. She drops a line of “have we met before? you seem REALLY familiar”. This is also important to the story but the way she said it was SO CLICHE I rolled my eyes so far back, I came back only because I need my vision. Golden boy* says no and runs away ASAP.
*should probably call him Daniel now. Or maybe Dan? Yeah I think I’ll go with Dan.
Later, Cam tries to woo Luce with breakfast and good coffee he stole from the teachers’ lounge. So they’re sitting together, sipping coffee and having a dandy conversation. The paper bag is kept on the other side of Luce—perfect excuse for Cam to lean across her every time he wants to eat. Classic cringe face: a story by me. They almost kiss but the bell dings.
- Luce goes against her bully and loses, bad.
- Change of partners and now she’s facing off against Dan. While sparring, she remembers fighting somewhere with fire in the background and using those memories, she totally kicks Dan’s ass. Miraculous improvement!
- Everyone notices, stop what they’re doing and watch like it’s soap opera. (To be fair…)
- Dan gets super into the fight now and starts backing Luce up.
- In the flashback, we see her fighting and getting stabbed in the heart. Daniel runs to her and sits by her. Sad face while cradling her face. We assume she died.
- Back to present, she falls to his fake sword fake-stabbing her. He gets worried, immediately removes her mask/face guard/whatever it’s called and cradles her face.
- Luce: *ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm k? face*
The time when we go “Someone tell us something! Anything!”
So earlier somewhere, Arienne, Golden Girl and another guy bet on Luce going up in flames again. Now, after fencing class, the guy (called Roland) says he gives it a week. Arienne wonders if Luce not being baptized would matter in making a difference.
He replies nope and that they need to accept that Luce will die and there’s nothing she, Dan or Sophia can do to stop it.
Wait. Sophia is in on.. whatever this is? What is this, even?
What Is This: a helpful explanation by yours truly
God cursed Luce and Dan. She dies every 17 years, and it’s just enough for them to fall in love. They kiss=she dies. Only, Dan doesn’t die and hence he remembers every time, and his heart breaks every time. This cycle has been going on for a thousand years. (Yet, they never learn to not kiss and live happily ever after..)
You guessed it, Rebel Angel is our dear Golden Boy. Arienne, Cam, Sophia, the bully, Roland and Golden Girl are fallen angels as well. Pretty dandy, eh?
What I was starting to wonder at this point
Okay so these FALLEN ANGELS had NOWHERE ELSE TO GO except a caged REFORM SCHOOL for underage criminals. Sure. They couldn’t work some small jobs and earn money and live better. Nope. They chose reform school. Very spooky reform school.
Penn has her eyes on you:
Okay so Penn volunteers at the office for her free period* so she has access to student files. She looked into Dan and group’s files and found NOTHING. No home address, info—nothing. Sophia too. She tells this to Luce as they get ready for The Party.
*cuz she finds it cool in some way and it’s really not that lame (SHE IS MY FAVOURITE CHARACTER)
Roland apparently throws wild parties and Luce gets invited by Cam. She takes Penn along and guess what? The Party is in the middle of the woods.
So let me get this straight: the students of a REFORM boarding school, who are supposed to be MONITORED by the staff like hawks, manage to sneak out AFTER DARK and have a WILD RAGER party in the middle of the woods with BEER KEGS that they got from God knows where (since they can’t drive and don’t have cellphones) and DANCE and YELL around a FIRE. All this without the forest on fire AND hiding from the school staff even though dozens of students are out.
At this point I brought out my Oreos and, unsurprisingly, my attention was more on the Oreos than the movie. #sorrynotsorry
Cam tries to sweet talk Luce and find out why she’s here. She deflects. Dan stares from the other side of the fire. Typical love triangle stuff.
OKAY SO A GUY COMES AND TALKS TO PENN ABOUT MUSIC AND STUFF OMG. AT THE PARTY. OMG YESSSSSSS. Oh and Luce feels like a third wheel and walks off. Meh. Penn ❤ Todd.
Luce’s bully accosts her and asks if Luce still thinks about “him”. Trevor. The guy she killed. Who was also Luce’s crush. Oh so THAT’S why she’s in this school. Molly starts flinging fire at Luce and Luce is afraid because Trevor died in a fire.
Arienne saves the day! She interrupts. Cam also intervenes and starts demanding about what the hell the bully is tryna do. Ari takes Luce away. The bully taunts Cam about losing his track and wanting what he can’t have. Some magic voodoo happens and he chokes her with a snake tattoo on her neck until she faints. Okayy..
Some other stuff happens. Not important.
Steamy scene with Luce and Dan in the pool.
Luce: There is something between us and you feel it too, don’t you?
BRO. SERIOUSLY. Dan runs away, again.
So Cam asks Luce out on a date. She goes wearing this black dress and looking hot af. Oh and where do they go? To a club. How? ON A BIKE.
Okay so in this REFORM school for CRIMINALS and the DERANGED, they allow students to have a bike. Cam, that too, who has multiple offences on his record.
They go to this club Pandemonium. Luce and Cam kiss. Dan breaks it up and fights with Cam on the floor. (Hush no one ask how Dan ended up there as well.) Luce gets mad and leaves on the bike alone. She confesses everything to Penn and says that she HAS to find out what’s up.
They embark on a midnight adventure to find out What’s UpTM. So apparently Todd is super smart and he made a face recognition technology where the software searches the face across all the pictures on the internet.
They run Dan’s face and find a picture from way back in history, and Luce is standing next to him! What even, right?
Penn goes to get the print from the printer which is apparently NOT near the computer (makes sense, eh?) and in that time, Luce sees more shadows. A fire breaks out (by magical voodoo, obviously) and Todd runs into the fire to save Penn. Luce runs after him as well but loses him and ends up unconscious.
Dan appears out of nowhere (as he always does) and saves her by flying her out of there.
In the next scene, we’re at a funeral. I was screaming NO PENN NO YOU CAN’T BE DEAD NO NO NO NO NO YOU’RE THE ONLY REASON I’M STILL WATCHING THIS NOOOOOO. Turns out, Todd died. Penn was crying at the funeral. </3
Luce wakes up in the hospital from a smol Coma. She and Penn have a moment. When Penn’s asleep she leaves and finds Dan sitting on the edge of a balcony and asks questions. He denies the flying things saying she was imagining things.
So what does Luce do? She juMPS OFF THE FRICKIN BALCONY TO PROVE HER POINT. REALLY, BRO? The fall is shown in slow slow slow motion, and I was given the time to scream at her in frustration and then me for even watching this movie. Obviously Dan brings his wings out and catches her. Oh and the song that played during that scene got on my nerves. So bad.
Are we close to the ending yet?
He HAS to confess now. He tells her she dies if they kiss, oh and in that moment they almost kiss. I MEAN—WHAT EVEN. They’re stupid.
Cam stops them in time and there are these few minutes where Cam and Dan shout at her from two sides—each saying why she should choose him. Classic, eh? I’m so done right now.
She chooses Dan and kisses him. Sigh. Then Dan hands Luce off to Sophia for safekeeping and goes into the sky after Cam. Why? Because he’s worried Cam will lead Lucifer to Luce. And that’s not good. Dan and Cam fight in the skies like 2 teenagers in love with the same girl. Except they’re NOT teenagers and actually thousands of years old. But they still have the maturity of teenagers. *rolls eyes* Penn spies all of this and comes to a realisation.
While they do that, Sophia takes Luce inside and they’re interrupted by Penn who wants to tell Luce something. But she doesn’t get the chance because Sophia cuts Penn’s throat.
I. WAS. DEVASTATED. PENN DID END UP DYING, AFTER ALL. I do not remember this from the books. I’m heartbroken. But I continue watching because we’re VERY close to the ending.
Turns out that Sophia wants to kill Luce because since Luce isn’t baptized this time, she can’t reincarnate. Hence Dan will have to choose and everyone can choose. Dan enters right on time after Cam gets away and saves Luce. Soph vanishes.
Dan says that Luce is in danger and he has to get her somewhere safe before Lucifer finds her and they don’t have much time. But Luce delays by giving a “heart-warming” speech about this is who she is and this is where she belongs. Like, BRO. SHUT UP. He knows you love him! Just let him take you to safety! I was rubbing my temples at this point.
And they fly off into the sunset together. LITERALLY. Into the sunset. Could this get any
I really hope there’s no movie on the following books. I don’t think there will be considering this wasn’t a “hit”.
Ohh and I finally remember how the series ended! I HATED IT. Not the Luce-Dan “happily ever after” part. The Cam part—who he ended up with. That was stupid and random and I hated it.
If you’ve read until here, I congratulate you. And I’m eternally grateful. This was a LONG post and you have the ultimate level of patience. Don’t ruin it by watching the movie, okay? Thanks.
Now that I’ve exhausted myself ranting about this movie, I’m going to go and read a nice book or watch High School Musical.
So, thoughts about the review? Have you watched the movie or read the books? What was your impression? If you liked them, what do you think about this review? Are you as tired of cliches as I am? Tell me EVERYTHING.