Finding Neverland wasn’t boisterous, or exhuberantly full of wonder. It was, if anything, understated and simple in its execution. Despite the drama of a crumbling marriage, oppression, depression, and death, there were no histrionics, no yelling, no overwrought grief – these things were just facts of life to be dealt with. This was a movie where the actors checked their egos at the door and let the story be the star. And I think that is exactly why it worked so well.
Without sacrificing the reality of the situation, this movie managed to take you into one man’s imagination and remind you of the simple truth of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. As Dustin Hoffman put it in one of the included documentaries,
“Don’t grow up; never grow up. Be an adult, be mature, but don’t be a grown up.”
The story of Peter Pan itself focuses much more on the “Don’t grow up” part of that sentiment. Finding Neverland strikes a perfect balance of both sides of that coin. Johnny Depp does a superb job of playing an adult in turn-of-the-century English society, complete with the seriousness and reality that the role demands, and the importance of imagination in that man’s life. He was in no way childish, but rather infused the wisdom of playfulness into an adult world.
And he did a pretty convincing Scottish accent, too (not that I’m any expert).
This was a very mature movie. It’s a shame there aren’t many more like it.
[tags]Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie, Neverland, movies, maturity, imagination, playfulness, Johnny Depp, Dustin Hoffman[/tags]