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In the 60's, in West Texas, twelve year-old Ben is a boy neglected by his parents. His mother is obsessed by the movie stars of Hollywood and every afternoon she goes to the movie theater, while his father spends his spare time building a boat. One night, there is a car wreck in front of Ben's parents dining where only the girl Cassie survives with a broken arm. Ben's parents lodges Cassie during her recovery and she becomes friend of Ben. Later the mature girl convinces Ben to travel with her to Baltimore, where her modern and liberal aunt and uncle live. They hitchhike through Arkansas, Kentucky and Virginia in a journey of friendship and discoveries until they reach Baltimore. Their adventure ends when Cassie has a breakdown and is interned in the Mercy Psychiatric Ward in Virginia and Ben joins the Military Academy in North Caroline to stay close to Cassie. But the girl had a plan for them and Ben gives his best effort to make her dream come true. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Have Dreams, Will Travel" is a quirky sort of movie, full of little eccentricities and minor faults that make up its personality. Writer/director Brad Isaacs is not overly ambitious, probably quite aware of his limitations as a first-time director. He has structured what amounts to the filmed equivalent of a short story, very economical and specific.
The star of this film is Cayden Boyd, who plays Ben - a kid who tends to disappear into the shadows. His lack of identity seems to be polar opposite to Cassie (AnnaSophia Robb). Ben lives at a diner with his boat-obsessed father and his movie-obsessed mom. One rainy night, there is a terrible car wreck outside the diner, and the only survivor is young Cassie. After she is nursed back to health, Cassie decides that she and Ben would be best off to hit the road and head east.
That's the basic set-up for the film, which is largely a road trip. They meet many interesting characters on the way to Baltimore, one of the most so who is played by Val Kilmer. His role in this film is only slightly more significant than his appearance in "The Missing", but he is quite excellent as a depressed pig farmer. Stephen Root is very good as an interfering sheriff character.
Although somewhat lightweight at the beginning, "Have Dreams, Will Travel" proves itself to be a far deeper (and darker) film than it first appears to be. In fact, it turns out to be not quite the kids you might assume it is. Perhaps that makes it a little schizophrenic, but it works quite well in this case. Overall, this film is individual and original enough to be more than worth the watch. It has a certain quality that feels strange yet heartwarming. Robb and Boyd give their very best performances in two quite difficult roles, and more than make the film what it is.
RATING: 7.5 out of 10
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