Tuesday, 16 September 2014

DVD Review - Petals on the Wind

Petals on the Wind
Director: Karen Moncrieff
Starring: Heather Graham, Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, Baley Buntain, Nick Searcy Dlyan Bruce, Will Kemp, Whitney Hoy, Ellia English and Ellen Burstyn
Studio: LionsGate Home Entertainment
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Retail: $14.98
Running Time: 90 minutes
Rating: NOT Rated
Buy Link: Amazon


Arriving on DVD on September 16th is the Petals on the Wind based on the classic novel by V.C. Andrews. The film is directed by Karen Moncrieff and stars Heather Graham, Rose McIver, Wyatt Nash, Baley Buntain, Nick Searcy Dlyan Bruce, Will Kemp , Whitney Hoy, Ellia English and Ellen Burstyn. The DVD comes with a Digital Ultraviolet code. There are no extras or special features.

After the success of the made-for-television adaption of Flowers in the Attic back in January, it was no-brainier why Lifetime quickly gave the greenlight for the sequel Petals on the Wind, which made its debut on Lifetime back in May.

Unlike the book of the same name that picks up directly where Flowers in the Attic ended, the film adaption jumps ten years with new actors (Rose Mclver, Wyatt Nash and Bailey Buntain) taking over the roles of Cathy, Christopher and Carrie Dollanganger. Shoving a 450 page book into a 90-minute movie means there are many characters and scenes that had to be cut. Dr. Paul Sheffield, who adopts the children and later has a romantic relationship with Cathy, never appears, as the film opens up with his funeral. Cathy's ballet roommates, Yolanda Lange and April Summers, never appears, as well as Dr. Paul's sister,
Amanda Sheffield (Biddens).

Despite some changes, the main plot is still intact in the film with Cathy wanting revenge for what her mother did to her and her siblings. A few scenes with Carrie shows how she was tormented by her classmates and how her mother ignored her, which all leads to her death (it differs from the book). Then there is a side-story with Christopher dating Whitney Hoy, which isn't in the book.

Of the course the main story has Cathy attempting to become a dancer and falls for the abusive, Julian Marquet. Eventually she marries him, but their bliss is short-lived, leaving Cathy a single parent to her son, Jory. After Carrie's sudden death, Cathy focuses on ruining her mother's life by having affair with her step-father, Bart Winslow.

After watching the watered-down version of Flowers in the Attic earlier this year, I had very little hope Petals on the Wind, but surprisingly the sequel is better made than the first film, despite the fact that two-thirds of the book had to be eliminated to fit into a 90-minute time frame. Rose McIver (she once played a Power Ranger) gives an outstanding performance as the twenty-something Cathy. I thought Heather Graham phoned in her performance in the first film, but, oddly, she does a decent job as Corrine in the sequel. Though her role is reduced, Ellen Burstyn still gives a great performance as Olivia Foxworth. Overall, despite a few shortcomings, Petals on the Wind is an intriguing adaption of V.C. Andrew's Gothic novel. I'm hoping that next year's adaptions of If There Be Thorns and Seeds of Yesterday will follow a similar format.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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