By Emma Penney (England)
Pan is a recently released family fantasy adventure film from the well-known producers of worldwide success Harry Potter. Director Joe Wright known for his adaptations of Atonement and Pride & Prejudice brings us the prequel to J.M. Barrie’s well known story of Peter Pan. Set in the blitz instead of the Edwardian Era like the book, Peter’s mother leaves him at an orphanage with a note and a necklace. Peter grows up in the orphanage which is run by strict nun’s and becomes a rather mischievous character adding comical light hearted parts to the film.
One night in the orphanage Peter is kidnapped by Blackbeard played spectacularly by A-list star Hugh Jackman who plays Wolverine in the X-Men films and is taken to Neverland. In Neverland Peter discovers secrets about his mother and how he is more than just the ordinary orphan he thought he was and that he is destined to save Neverland from Blackbeard’s clutches. Levi Miller who plays Pan portrays his character outstandingly bringing both heartbreaking and humorous moments to the film and is definitely a young upcoming actor to keep an eye out for.
Along with Peter Pan you will meet other J. M. Barrie favorites, such as James Hook who is played by Garrett Hedlund who is Pan’s charming and flirtatious accomplice which is unexpected, as he is usually represented as the antagonist in film adaptations. There is also Tiger Lily who is represented as a kick ass female who helps Peter to believe in himself and do what he is destined to do. As always a Peter Pan film adaptation wouldn’t be complete without the ever so comical and sometimes helpful Mr. Smee played by Adeel Akhtar who helps the adventurers along the way.
The world of Neverland has never been so breathtakingly colorful as well as dark at the same time with many places you will fondly remember from the book or other film adaptations. Bringing many made for 3D moments to the screen.
So if you are looking for a fun action packed family film which all ages can enjoy and dive once again into the well-loved fantasy world of J. M. Barrie’s creation Neverland. The film has a fast paced narrative and brings both comical and heartbreaking moments to the screen. It also allows for a lot of nostalgia for parents and adults who fondly remember the characters and places in Neverland making you feel like a kid again.
The film may have not done well critically but I think it is definitely worth a watch if this is the type of film you have been looking for. My only disappointment was that not all my questions were answered about the origins of the characters, as it was given a predictable Hollywood spin leaving the audience with unanswered questions for the potential of a sequel.
Rating: I gave the film 4 out of 5 stars; it is a family film which all ages can enjoy!
Tiger Lily: I’m going to tell you a story about a boy who would never grow up, about the pirate who wished to catch him, about the island where fairies roamed. But this isn’t the story you’ve heard before, because sometimes friends begin as enemies and enemies begin as friends. Sometimes to truly understand how things end we must first know how they begin.
[letter from Peter’s mother]
Peter’s Mother: [voice] My dearest, Peter, I long for the day that I can come back for you and explain everything. You are extraordinary, more than you can imagine. I promise that you will see me again, in this world or another.
Peter Pan: Or another…