Sunday, December 21, 2014

Movie Review: When Calls the Heart, Lost & Found, A Telling Silence

My Review (4 stars):

     I’ve long looked forward to watching When Calls the Heart (2013), another rendition of one of Janette Oke’s book series. I adore her prairie-style tales of young teachers in one-room schoolhouses, sweet romances, and simple faith. (The Love Comes Softly movie series is an example of such).

     For the most part When Calls the Heart (2013) did not disappoint. It was delightful and touching.

     But the When Calls the Heart (2013) movie doesn’t actually tell the When Calls the Heart book’s story. When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke is about a blonde-haired, young woman named Elizabeth Thatcher who wants to be a teacher, moves to a more remote town, is relocated to an even more remote town by a disgruntled, spurned suitor, meets a handsome Mountie named Wynn Delaney, and all that. The When Calls the Heart (2013) movie does show lengthy flashes of this story, but it mainly focuses on a different Elizabeth Thatcher, dark-haired niece of the original. She also is from a rich family, yet wants to be a teacher, meets a Mountie… and so on. So it’s a different story, yet bears a lot of similarities to the original story. –Which can be weird; aunt and niece with the same name having stories quite similar. But it was fine overall.

     I was kind of sad not to get the full story of the first Elizabeth Thatcher (Delaney), but the second Elizabeth Thatcher also proved to be an interesting character. Along with her slightly spoiled and snooty younger sister, Julia; her proper mother, and sympathetic father. It was definitely entertaining to journey along with pampered young Elizabeth as she strived to follow the path she felt God putting on her heart.

     When Calls the Heart (2013) kind of ends just as Elizabeth is beginning her life as a school teacher. And I must say, the slightly romantic relationship between her and old-acquaintance, Mountie Edward, was not too pleasant for me… as you’ll see in the TV series that follows this movie, Edward vanishes from the scene, and a new Mountie takes his place. I never was one for unfinished, unnecessary romances.

     But overall, this movie was quite enjoyable and fun.

My Review (5 stars):
     The first of the When Calls the Heart TV series, Lost & Found (2014) takes off basically where the movie When Calls the Heart (2013) ends. There’s a different actress for young Elizabeth Thatcher and it does show her arrival at Coal Valley different than in the movie, but for the most part, it’s easily overlooked.
     From beginning to end, Lost & Found (2014) was thoroughly interesting, emotional, and just perfectly lovely. I am so happy that I didn’t stop at the movie, but went on to this delightful TV series! Even not considering that I got the complete first season for just $19, I am quite pleased with my purchase.
     A slight complaint would be that Lost & Found (2014) almost seemed to have a hidden agenda of women in competition with men. Not my thing. Let men be men, and women be women—and appreciate them both equally for their roles! But it wasn’t huge, so it’s a minor complaint.
     Also, both Elizabeth Thatcher and Jack Thornton seem a bit spoiled and prideful, and thus argued a lot. But it’s all part of the story, and understandable considering their backgrounds and former stations.
     So far, the movie (2013) and TV series (2014-) of When Calls the Heart, don’t exactly follow either the first Elizabeth Thatcher (Delaney)’s story (When Calls the Heart by Janette Oke) or the second Elizabeth Thatcher’s story (Where Courage Calls by Janette Oke and Laurel Oke Logan); but it does a bit I suppose, and it’s still an old-fashioned, one-room schoolhouse, small town story…
     A little mining town. School in the saloon. Fires and other such mysteries. Drama with a certain, handsome Mountie... I love it! :)

My Review (5 stars):

     In this second installment of the When Calls the Heart TV series, Elizabeth Thatcher is settling more comfortably into her role as Coal Valley’s schoolteacher… even with her classroom being a saloon! Breaking up fistfights... coping with a little boy's admiration of her, and trying to solve the mystery of one little girl's silence. And she’s getting along better with Mountie Jack Thornton, who’s turning out to be quite the nice guy, with a sense of humor to boot.

     New mysteries and troubles turn up, and Elizabeth is determined to help out her new, dear friends of Coal Valley; as is Jack, who is the constable after all.

     I continue to very much enjoy this series. In A Telling Silence (2014), I was especially pleased at how well Jack and Elizabeth are getting along, and how they learned to work together in time of trouble. –And Elizabeth learning to just trust Jack.

     A Telling Silence (2014) was definitely more intense than Lost & Found (2014) but all ended well, and it seemed to be perfectly fine for my younger siblings to watch, :) We, as well as my mom, have all been enjoying it.

     I’m very impressed. Yay for Janette Oke’s books being made into movies! :)

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