Enter the City of Ember, the sole light in an otherwise dark world.
More than 200 years have passed since the mysterious Builders first constructed the city. The time of plenty is no more -- the storerooms run low, the generator is failing, and the blackouts that plague the city grow longer with each passing day.
The society does nothing to help itself; most have either resigned themselves to their doom, or believe in vain that the Builders will return to save them. And the people within the city know nothing of the outside world -- they have never seen the sun and the sky, or the grass and the trees. They only know that when the lights of Ember go out for the last time, so too will the lives of its citizens.
Amid it all are two companions, Lina Mayfleet (Saoirse Ronan) and Doon Harrow (Harry Treadaway). Lina is an orphaned girl living with her grandmother and younger sister; Doon is a quirky, precocious boy who dreams of doing great things. Together, they find themselves embroiled in a race against time, challenging everything they have been taught in order to save the people of Ember.
In a skillful adaptation of Jeanne DuPrau's popular book, director Gil Kenan has managed to retain the essence of the story while altering certain facets of the plot to make it more film-worthy. It is an action-filled movie without guns or profanity, the sort of film that the whole family can see without anyone being bored.
The cast is strong. The leads were expressive and believable, supported by several famous names including Tim Robbins (who played Doon's father) and Bill Murray (the mayor).
The soundtrack is both powerful and effective -- sometimes melancholy, sometimes suspenseful and intense. To say the least, "The City of Ember" is a marvelous complement to an excellent book, and a film that is well worth seeing.
Haley Keeley is a sophomore at Starpoint.
>THE CITY OF EMBER
Review: Four stars (out of four)