As you may or may not know, Peter Pan is by far one of my favourite stories. And when I learned that this winter a Warner Bros. was to release “Pan”, an epic prequel to the classic tale, I was more than excited!
The film actually came out on the 18th of October, but for some mysterious reasons I didn’t come around to see it until this weekend. (I want to point out that afternoon showtimes and my super grow-up friends or rather the difficulty of finding someone equally
childish magic-minded as me didn’t play in my favour.)
Yesterday Isa and me had a gorgeous afternoon tea with loads of clotted cream and gossip in our new favourite café in Camden. Stuffed with cucumber sandwiches and scones we were deciding what to do next and well, it was only 16:30 – the perfect time to fly to Neverland!
I want to say straight away that the weakest point of the film was probably the script. Although it takes a very lovely spin on the original book by J. M. Barrie, creating a prequel to a story that doesn’t need one, is a very daring task. To be fair, to a certain extent it did really well. I very much appreciated the settings in London during he Second World War for instance, or the presentation of Neveland how it was before Peter’s reign. But other aspects, such as the made-up story of Peter’s parents just didn’t come together very well.
Let aside the not-as-smooth-as-could-be storyline, the film was a feast for eyes and mind! Being set in Neverland basically excuses everything; neverbirds, glowing mermaids, Nirvanan-chanting lost boys, a crystal fairy hive and colours – lots of colours!
From the costumes of the pirates and the indians, the ships and mines, tents and war paint, to the Neverforest and the hidden fairy kingdom: the production design is simply amazing. Everything is so rich on details and unique ideas, one can tell that the makers tried really hard to avoid existing “Neverland clichés” and created a fresh perception of this magic space, where logic and physics as we know it don’t apply and everything is possible.
“Pan” is set in a very different Neverland from the one we know from previous screen adaptations. For a start, the “main pirate”, who steals orphans from London to make them mine fairy dust, is Blackbeard. James Hook on the other hand is introduced as a dashing, self-secure lad, trying to escape the mines and most of all as a friend of Peter – leaving a lovely white space for your imagination to go wild (hopefully not for a sequel of the prequel! *fingers crossed*)
Another little easter egg for those familiar with the book, are names and quotes, very carefully woven into the lines of the main characters as they go along, reflecting the original source of the subject on a different level.
Excuse my rambling, but all I want to say: I loved it! And even thought the story has its flaws, its a perfect magical, whimsical, colourful and fantastic movie!
I do believe in bedtime stories.