Movie Review: Speak 🌳

This film version of Speak serves as a visual aid to the critically acclaimed novel of the same name.

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Kristen Stewart stars as high school teen Melinda Sordino, who is coping with an incident that happened over the summer. CREDIT: Showtime Networks

This post for Speak is spoiler-free.

Speak (2004, directed by Jessica Sharzer) is actually based off the critically acclaimed novel of the same name by author Laurie Halse Anderson. It follows the story of Melinda Sordino (Kristen Stewart) who called the cops at a summer party because she was raped; what follows her new high school year is a whole lot of emotional trauma and learning how to speak out about what happened to her the year before.

Speak wasn’t a popular film when it came out years ago. In fact, I would consider it to be more underrated than 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This film was independently produced and captures the main points of the novel. But if I were being honest, the film just feels like a 90-minute long visual aid to the book.

There really isn’t anything different, and it makes me consider why book to movie adaptations are even made in the first place because some books are perfect the way it is. Although, the film doesn’t feature amazing cinematography or cool aesthetics, it does have that coming-of-age story that anyone can enjoy and relate to.

Stewart is practically a baby face in this film (I believe she was 14-years-old, same as the character); this was her pre-Twilight “suffer in silence” look, where she plays a depressed teenager that doesn’t speak. I wonder if Speak was how Stewart grown to bite her lips in future Twilight movies 🤔.

Speak’s story is heartbreaking, and Stewart really captures the soul of Melinda. From being a popular teen, to being a hated and lonely freshmen in high school; Stewart impresses audiences with her authentic portrayal of what it’s like to struggle with high school. I think if the film were to get a more updated version, perhaps in the age of the #MeToo movement, the story of Melinda could touch the hearts of more people.

If you are keen on checking Speak out, I encourage you to read the novel first because it’s well worth every second of your time.

Rating: 3/5

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