Below is my 1000 word review ready for submission.
“Forever is an awfully long time”
Review of the 2003 film “Peter Pan”
Director P.J Hogan brought to our screens in 2003 the adaptation of L.M Barrie’s Peter Pan. The film portrays a young boy and his refusal to grow up. It takes us on a journey through his childhood and the significance that he left on Wendy and her beloved family. While the film has been created for entertainment purposes, the adaptation is very true to the 1904 novel.
I first watched Peter Pan as a very young child, I found its magical and mystical qualities captivating, and as a young adult I love it still. While it may be seen to be a children’s` fantasy film, in my eyes it is much more than that.
While being a children’s book and film, Peter Pan gives us an insight into the life that is adulthood and all the things that come along with it. The film tells us the story of Wendy and her two brothers who embark on an adventure to neverland. The film first introduces Peter during a cold winter’s night, in which he is separated from his shadow, who is seen as his dear companion. Wendy is awoken by this disruption to what she must think is a dream, as she falls back asleep, peter pan becomes the mysterious boy in her imagination.
The significance of the shadow during these beginning scenes sets up one of the themes throughout the film. It gives us a playful yet unrealistic imaginative view of the world, while portraying an independent young boy. During the time that Peter Pan was written, shadows played a large importance in society. It was thought that without a shadow you were not seen as pure and whole in Gods’ eyes, rather you were seen to be closer to the devil himself. I feel that this contextual information is key in the portrayal of Peter as from the offset it suggests to us that he means no harm and is only there to do good.
The kindness and gratitude that Wendy shows during these first scenes indicate her true nature. It is without a doubt that both characters had a connection from the very beginning, having a true, loving friendship made it easier to portray this chemistry on screen. Actors Jeremy Sumpter, who was 14 at the time of filming and Rachel Hurt Wood, who was of the younger age of 13 they soon became lifelong pals after the film, as for both child actors who played Wendy and Peter. Both being young attractive people, This was their big break.
During the first half of the film, Tinker Bell becomes a main character despite her lack of words or screen time. She is portrayed as one of the most jealous females throughout the film, as her love for Peter blinds her from everything else. The natural portrayal of mythical fairies can be seen as ethereal and magical; however, Tinker Bells portrayal is slightly off the mark, she develops into being quite a complex character who seems to be unable to manage her emotions.
While moving to the middle of the film, a particular scene stood out to me. Peter and Wendy shared a dance among the leaves and the fairies The dim lighting and classical music playing in the background really set the scene for me as an onlooker. Fairies gathered around and the dust began trickling over them as they danced in unison, possibly portraying what they truly felt for each other. During the dancing scene Wendy is pushed back by Peter, floating away, she is then grabbed again by him. Without a shadow of a doubt Peter was going to catch her for she was his one true love in that instance. The contrast between the beginning and end of this scene is significant and, in my opinion, this is the turning point for the film. Wendy begins pushing Peter to discuss his true feelings, love becomes brought up in conversation and emotions run high as Peter vows never to feel such a thing.
Within scenes like this the special affects play a large part, while a lot of the film can be seen as animated, all elements have a purpose within the film. They are fast paced and fun which is perfect for a child who enjoys visual stimulation.
Throughout the film, Hook is seen as the true villain, with his elaborate plans and ideas to get rid of Peter Pan, none of which had worked. However, his vengeance becomes the main story line towards the end of the film as he tries to get rid of Peter Pan for good, as well as Tinker Bell and the three children he captured. Hooks character can be seen to mimic certain adults, ones who do not appreciate or enjoy childish behaviour. These are adults who may have had to grow up quicker than expected and adapt to the real world. Hook portrays a sad, lonely man wanting to be noticed, regardless of if its positive or negative notice.
The end of the film can be expected, the happy ending that people wanted had come. The children were reunited with their mother and father, who were overjoyed, and the lost boys tagged along. Peter was not so easily persuaded, but regardless of this, he still managed to visit Wendy’s window every night, waiting to hear her stories.
Overall, the cinematic masterpiece that is “Peter Pan” is a film that can be appreciated by adults and children, in which it displays the longing of wanting to remain a child, and that growing up will forever be mystery.