I don’t think I’ve done much blog ranting about pretty much anything. I’ve tried to focus my updates around the things that are inspiring me for writing and leave it at that. Today we’re going to change gears a little. I believe I’ve mentioned it at some point, but the original idea for the Litum Baltutu (I don’t use the full term much, but I promise you that it’s in the book) is based on Peter Pan. Litum translates as Victory and Baltutu translates as Living Ones. I honestly forget what language I was looking at when I found those words (maybe Aramaic) but the initials were intentional. L and B are also the initials of the Lost Boys. The original name for the Litum was Lilith’s Bastards, also LB. That was the starting place for this whole book. Asking the question of what the Lost Boys would look like if they were real and living in modern society. Obviously, there has been a huge departure from there, but Peter Pan is a big inspiration for me.
I tend to watch all the Peter Pan movies and I’ve read all the Peter Pan books and I’ve even watched a fair amount of video with the various Disney Park Peters. I’ve been waiting for the latest movie to finally pop up on cable and that happened last week. I was a little hesitant going into Pan because of Rooney Mara getting cast as Tiger Lily (honestly, do we need another white person case in a non-white role?), but I knew I’d watch it anyway.
I have to say that they created some really great characters. Peter, Tiger Lily, Hook and Blackbeard were all very interesting and engaging. The look of the film was beautiful. And that’s just about where the good stuff ended. I should have known from the moment we had a bunch of pirates and miners singing Smells Like Teen Spirit that I was going to have a bit too much cringe.
So just to give some background, this is a “before it all happened” story. Peter is just a boy, Hook is a slave and Blackbeard is the main pirate bad guy. The problem is that Peter isn’t Peter. He’s interesting and fun. He’s a good character, but NOTHING like Peter Pan. Not even remotely. And Hook is the same. He’s a hero and not British at all. There is no through line from that to becoming Pan’s great nemesis. I suppose the goal was to leave an opening for that story as a follow-up movie, but I see it as too much of a stretch.
But that all being said, if it’s way in the past, why does Tiger Lily have to be the tribal leader? Why not make Rooney Mara some prior leader and have an actual Native person be a young Tiger Lily who is by her side? Hell, we could even have the Rooney Mara die at the end and have Tiger Lily become the leader. I mean, the story was right there and they wouldn’t have even had to white wash the character.
My last annoyance with the movie was that both of the boys (Hook and Peter) both come to the rescue of Tiger Lily.
I mean thank god we have the ex-slave and the orphan there to save the warrior princess in a fight.
There’s no need to make just one person save the day. We’ve seen groups work together in movies. People like it (I hear the Avengers franchise is doing okay).
So yeah, big let down. They had all the right pieces and just did all the wrong things with them.
Next week, I’ll return to my regularly scheduled inspired self.