About Us

Contact Us


The 21st Century

Hacktreks Travel

Hacktreks 2

First Chapters
Lifestyles 1
Lifestyles 2

The International Writers Magazine
:Finding Neverland review

Finding Neverland –
Directed by Marc Forster
Writers: Allen Knee, David Magee
Starring Johnny Depp, Kate Winslet,
Julie Christie, Dustin Hoffman and Freddie Highmore
Review by Richard Chilver

Upon reflecting on Finding Neverland it is astonishing to think of how much it has accomplished. Johnny Depp has a film and character of a style and wonder that will cast out any doubter come Oscar time. Peter Pan has a suitable film adaptation at last, and we have found a new home grown British talent in Freddie Highmore (Peter) who rivals the American Haley Joel Osment. The family film should clean up in all of the major film awards with its refreshing and beautiful tale of friendship and the joys of childhood.

At the start of the film we find a nervous J.M Barrie (Depp) sweating over his latest play on opening night. A serious and depressing piece that reflects upon the life he is living with his cold and uninspiring wife (Radha Mitchell). By nature Barrie is no suffering artist but that very boy annoyed that he would ever have to grow up. When, by chance, one day he meets Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies (Winslet) and her four boys, it leads to a drastic change in his life.. Barrie now has a worthy muse. He utilises his imagination and creates fantastic worlds in which he can escape in playtime with these emotionally wounded boys. This is a real gem; CGI is used cleverly to show their games, notably on the pirate ship. The sea resembles a blue rug and the shark looks like an enlarged toy. It's not meant to be real, it's meant to be Barrie’s and the Llewelyn-Davies’ world. Their very own Neverland.

He soon starts work on his latest play, with elements of the story uncovered by Barrie with the audience in tow. As scandal grows, rife with people questioning this married man's relationship with the boys, Barrie loses more and more of his wife’s devotion. Of course in truth there is nothing disgusting occurring with these boys just a special mutual friendship, which the gossips couldn’t understand.

Finding Neverland is a beautiful film that takes you through a whole spectrum of emotions. It conveys the inspiration of Dead Poets Society and the man/boy relationship seen in Kramer vs Kramer. The story is enchanting and rarely falters in keeping the tale going. Depp is sublime as usual, he craftily balances subtlety and extravagance throughout and Captain Jack Sparrow even makes a brief return. Winslet shows a real motherly bond with the children who each shine with talent well beyond their years. The only possible flaw if I had to find one was the world of Neverland feels more real than the Victorian does. No contrast is established to compare paradise and reality. Victorian England seems two dimensional with no depth to the society and doesn't show us much of the Victorian landscape, perhaps only a minor flaw hidden in this fantastic film director Marc Forster has developed. The script, art direction and acting are all on top form with Dustin Hoffman and Julie Christie shining in small parts. A great film with longevity that any child will still want to watch when grown up.
© Richard Chilver December 2004

Richard is a Creative Arts student a Portsmouth University

More Reviews


© Hackwriters 2000-2004 all rights reserved