Published on March 4th, 2020 | by Angele Colageo0
This movie is the alternate world restructure of J.M. Barrie’s classic, Peter Pan: The boy who wouldn’t grow up. What this film does is provide the audience with a different protagonist, “Wendy”( Devin France, in her first starring role) Directed by Benh Zeitlin (who’s acclaimed “Beast of the Southern Wild” a two-time Oscar nom) and written by Benh and his sister Eliza Zeitlin.
The movie seems to be a revision, more than an adaptation. We have the familiar characters from the original story. Wendy, Peter (Yashua Mack) and James (Gavin Naquin) In this take, Wendy, is the youngest of the family. Whereas in the book, Wendy was the eldest. The purpose, to tell the story from Wendy’s point of view.
Plot points throughout the story seemed disjointed and incongruous. I was expecting a more defined story structure. It truly felt as if the film was to document children at play with the Lord of the Flies ethics and otherworldly possibilities.
The beautiful settings on Montserrat, and the underwater caves in Mexico, were often distracting from the storyline. Being on location does provide wonderful, supporting characters. Nature can give incredible background visuals. However spectacular, it overshadowed the actors and the story. I get that kids can imbue the sense of wonder and innocence. So often as we grow up, we completely abandon that inner child.
The children in this film are talented.
Learning to perform at a young age can be quite challenging. However, with young actors, the director needs to instruct the young cast accordingly. If you want to see stellar work from Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild would be the far better choice.
2 out of 5 Stars
Second review by
Behn Zeitlin’s (Beasts of the Southern Wild) take on the classic Peter Pan story brings a new vision to the story. Seen through the eyes of Wendy (Devin France), daughter of a single working class mom, the struggles of maintaining child-like wonder while trying to protect her family from the loss of innocence, takes on a modern time view, with most of the fantasy elements removed. Wendy escapes with her twin brothers chasing after Peter (Yashua Mack) to the mysterious island where no one ages.