Run time: 111 mins.
Written By: Jason Fuchs, J.M.Barrie (Original Characters).
Director: Joe Wright.
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Levi Miller, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara.
A re-imagination of the origin stories of Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, and his initial encounters with the people of the magical world of Neverland.
Peter Pan’s is a story which needs no introduction to almost anyone who had a childhood. As both a prequel and the umpteenth incarnation of the character on screen, the movie highlights the story of a young orphan named Peter, wedged into a Boys Home with nothing but a letter from his mother and an odd looking object around his neck. It’s a crucial period during the WWII and mischievous Peter (Levi Miller) is struggling to conform in his orphanage run by sinister Mother Barnabus (Kathy Burke).
Suddenly, Peter finds himself spiraled away on a pirate ship to the paranormal world known as Neverland, where Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) runs an entire island of miners to look for Pixie Dust (magical substance with surreal powers).
As expected, wayward Peter instantaneously falls into trouble, as he finds some pixie dust. He makes an unexpected alliance in the form of James Hook (Garrett Hedlund) (yes, you read right…prequel, remember?), and along with the help of site supervisor Mr. Smee (Adeel Akhtar), the three escape into the wilderness of Neverland.
As Peter unlocks the chapters to his true destiny aided by Tiger Lily (Rooney Mara), the film becomes more visceral, more colorful and magical, taking us with it into the make-believe, freeing our imaginations from the shackles of reality.
In The Wright Direction
Director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) enthralls us with the magical perspective of his own childhood. The re-imagination of scenes is so delightfully done, that almost every scene leaves you with an open mouth.
The boy who never grew up’ is what we were told about Peter Pan and Wright has held that guarantee very firmly. The story isn’t all that terrific, as it looks like something written a 100 years ago, but then again, it was.
Wright stays true to the virtuousness and innocence of the character and the target audience respectively, but certain scenes were made keeping the adults in mind as well. Although they may come across as frightening to the little ones, it was just about what was required to keep all age groups interested in the plot. Clear examples of this are the pirate sing-alongs to Nirvana and Ramones songs led by Blackbeard.
What stand out are the visual effects. Kudos to the VFX team, especially for their colorful interpretation of the tribal territories of Neverland. The animation used in showing Peter memories of the past are a feast to the eyes. The movie deserves to be watched in 3D. The costumes and make-up team deserve a big applause for their work. The film definitely doesn’t have anything that deserves an Oscar nod, but the VFX and costumes department just might get one. The music throughout the length of the movie is something viewers will find weird, to say the least. Nevertheless, it goes well with the feel of the movie, so no complaints there.
It’s a Hugh deal
There would’ve been very few who doubted Hugh Jackman (X-MEN Franchise, Les Miserables) in this role. And it’s safe to say, he’s proven them wrong too.
Armour-clad and primped, Jackman has a lot of fun with his character. Although he looks like the love child of Jack Sparrow and Mad Max’s Immortan Joe, he brings his own charisma and appeal to the character, while maintaining the dark, merciless nature of Blackbeard.
With Wolverine out of the picture, we can only hope he doesn’t dissolve into a phase where he plays quirk-driven characters only. But it was top amusement to watch him in such an avatar.
Debutant Levi Miller seems to be a fantastic casting. Performances from the 12-year old debutant will make you question your childhood. At such an early age, having acted besides the likes of Jackman, and played a character that can fly, this kid is definitely going places (pun intended).
Garrett Hedlund (Tron, Eragon) was a confused mix of Indiana Jones and Jack Nicholson. With an inconsistent performance throughout, he seemed to be trying very hard. Although, if a sequel is in works, it will be interesting to see him as Captain Hook. Rooney Mara (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects) displays a kickass version of Tiger Lily, despite the nauseating chemistry with Hook. Nonso Anozie and Adeel Akhtar put in solid performances with their roles, with the latter adding a lot of fun to the dynamic. A Special mention to Cara Delevigne, simply for showing up as the mermaid.
All in All
The film is emotional escapology at its finest, with a narrative that bounces back pleasantly every time it seems to be fading away. Even the twenty-somethings that grew up watching the likes of Robin Williams play the lead, will find the experience refreshing.
It is a film focused on story but fully aware of the context, as there is at least a glimpse of all major characters with future involvement in the plot.
Watch this if you’re:
In the mood to escape. The 3D effects will blow you away, but expect no more in terms of a good weekend watch. Simply put – a fun family adventure.
B-Change Rating: 6.5/10
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