12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny -- to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.
In stifling Edwardian London, Wendy Darling mesmerizes her brothers every night with bedtime tales of swordplay, swashbuckling, and the fearsome Captain Hook. But the children become the heroes of an even greater story, when Peter Pan flies into their nursery one night and leads them over moonlit rooftops through a galaxy of stars and to the lush jungles of Neverland. Wendy and her brothers join Peter and the Lost Boys in an exhilarating life--free of grown-up rules--while also facing the inevitable showdown with Hook and his bloodthirsty pirates. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
The best Peter Pan to date, unfortunately at the wrong time.
Up front I will say it: this is the best Peter Pan adaptation yet, and in what follows I will tell you why. Despite the film's quality, it failed at the box office, and for good reason. Insight into that shall be revealed as well. Such sage wisdom ye shall not find in other reviews. Read on.
The main thing that sets this adaptation apart from previous attempts is sexual tension. Yes, sexual tension. If you've read other reviews, no doubt it has been mentioned. Many people seem to take offense at said tension. Such people seem to forget what it was like to be in the age bracket of 12 - 14. The makers of this film don't dance around the fact that Wendy has just met the boy of her dreams, and he is ready to whisk her off to fantasy land. Much is made of the fact that they meet in the bedroom and play father and mother to the lost boys. The relationship of these two pre-teens is as complex as any two adults in any other movies. And the young actors handle the relationship with grace and authenticity.
The production itself is beautiful, albeit stylized. The filmmakers do not mask that neverland is a fantasy world, and it stays that from beginning to end. Every frame in this movie is beautiful. There are some moments that are literally breathtaking.
Ultimately what makes this film excellent is that it tells a story. And this story is centered on Wendy, and the boy of her dreams: Peter Pan. Except he cannot be the man of her dreams, and that is truly tragic. Captain Hook is the opposite: a man who cannot be young. A man who is "old, alone, and done-for" according to Pan. We end up exploring Wendy's psyche throughout the film, and it is almost perfectly achieved.
But why did this film fail at the box office? Competetion. Who can possibly defeat Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, two bigger and much more commercial adaptations of fantasy books? This film deserves to be a classic and is one of the best fantasy movies to date. All should see it, young and old. It is rich, beautiful, and exciting.
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