Finding Neverland

Miramax Films presents a film directed by Marc Forster. Written by David Magee, based on the Allan Knee play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan.” Running time: 101 minutes. Rated PG (for mild thematic elements and brief language).

 

I have been told that I have a bit of a Peter Pan complex. Could this be the reason for my love of Mr. Barrie’s story or is my love for this story the cause of my condition that leaves me in a perpetual childlike state of mind?

 

First I’ll state the obvious. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are great in this movie. Depp with his Scottish accent would make even my friends in that fair country proud. This film has many great moments, most of all coming from the young actor who played young Peter Davies. As much as I’d like to love this film unconditionally, there were flaws of style conflicting with theme. I know this doesn’t mean shit to most people and that most people are content with watching Mr. Depp no matter what is going on, thus the box office totals from Secret Window. Even the most inept fan of Peter Pan knows that the primary theme is that of dreams and imagination. Knowing that the director thought it fitting that every time Mr. Barrie was being creative and putting on a show, he would cut to a lavish production, therefore cheating the audience out of their own creativity. Just as I wrote that last line I realized how funny it was. An audience with creativity and imagination!? Audiences don’t have those any more and thanks to filmmakers like George Lucas they don’t need them. There is a scene pretty late in the film where the play, that is the play of Peter Pan, is performed for the ill widow Davies (Winslet) at her own house. Needless to say, all the pitfalls of performing outside the confines of a play house limit this production leading one of her children to say, “We’ll have to use our imagination.” That said I was instantly infuriated with director Marc Forster for spoon feeding me ridiculous half assed realizations of someone else’s imagination.

 

This review is harsh only because the story is so close to my heart. It is still a wonderful film for the whole family and still drives home what is most important.

 

A couple of footnotes.

 

  1. I read that certain reviewers thought it odd to see a man, that is James Barrie, take such a curious interest in small boys. There is a scene in the film where morons of the like assume the same thing. The fact that he was gossiped about in that way isn’t what bothered me, but the fact that anyone else would see that in this film bothers me.

 

  1. I thought it interesting that Dustin Hoffman (Captain Hook from Steven Spielberg’s 1991 Hook) was in this film. I thought it was a little tacky, but regardless he was probably the funniest person in this film.

 

 

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~ by fumikaelson on December 13, 2004.

One Response to “Finding Neverland”

  1. Tigger would just like to remind you that Johnny was AWESOME…..gosh!!….IDIOT!!! No–just wanted to say good review….you’re right on target with the audience’s lack of creativity and imagination…hence, why the director of this movie is a schmuck and also why a certain director named M. Knight Shimalingadingdong’s movie the Village got horrible reviews—audiences like to revert to their childhood and be spoonfed bullshit!! Love Ya!!

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