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Apocalyptic vision: critics divided on screen adaptation of 'How I Live Now'

Apocalyptic vision: critics divided on screen adaptation of 'How I Live Now'

Based on the 2004 best-selling novel of same name, ‘How I Live Now’ is set in a not- too-distant post-apocalyptic future. It stars Saoirse Ronan as Daisy, an American teenager sent to stay with British relatives over the summer. She finds herself fighting for survival after a global conflict breaks out and the UK turns into a violent military state.

“She is quite unlikeable to begin with. She is quite cold and she has got an attitude. She is somebody who’s got an awful lot of guilt and frustration inside of her and she is trying to figure things out, I think, but she’s got problems,” said Ronan of her character, Daisy.

Fans of the novel may be surprised by how many changes have been made to the original story. However, luckily for director Kevin Macdonald, the author didn’t mind.

“This book is interesting because it was a book which appealed both to adults and a teen audience. There aren’t many, I guess, that are like that. The author, Meg Rosoff, who’s been a great supporter of the film – even though we changed her lovely book quite a lot – she loves what we have done with it. She is a very intelligent writer, a very good writer, and I suppose a lot of the writing that is done for young adults is not necessarily great writing, as such. This is so much more than just the usual wish-fulfillment, fantasy kind of things,” said Macdonald.

While Ronan has won unanimous praise for her performance, the film has earned mixed reviews. Some critics deplore the fact that Daisy’s monologue, which makes up the backbone of the novel, has been severely slashed in the movie. Others, however, describe it is a successfully entertaining film, with the right balance of drama and teenage romance.

‘How I Live Now’ is out now.

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