A Fantasy Genre : "Come Away"
In winter, fantasy stories appear in large box office, aimed at family viewing. There is not much screen magic this year, one might even say that it is not at all. At the beginning of December, you can only choose the film Come Away, which we show under the title "Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland". In addition to mentioning two fairy-tale heroes, attention is drawn to Angelina Jolie, who plays one of the main roles in the film. However, the film is not as fabulous as it might seem at first glance, and it is unlikely to be suitable for very young viewers.
The Littleton family has settled in a house hidden from prying eyes - a place where they raise children, developing their creativity and imagination. Rose Littleton (Angelina Jolie) is oblivious to convictions for "mixed marriage with a plebeian," and Jack Littleton (David Oyelowo) is happy to work as a woodcarver, passing on the skill to children. Once a tragedy occurs in their family, due to which the parents are removed, and Peter and Alice have to escape to an imaginary world where everything is still fine.
It is worth noting that this is not a story from the series "What if Alice from Wonderland and Peter Pan were brother and sister", as she is described in the movie announcements. The point here is a little different: when children are faced with death and changes in the family, they continue to believe in fairy tales, associating themselves not with reality, but with magical adventures. The characters in the film recall their games, in which wooden branches became swords and arrows, and add to them memorable episodes from fairy tales heard from their parents.
Therefore, the tea party with the White Rabbit, the appearance of the mad Hatter, a gang of pirates and the captain of the lost boys are not quite references to famous fairy tales. Rather, a way to rethink the dark reality in which children have to grow up. It is noteworthy that Peter and Alice make attempts to abandon their fantasies, taking on the burden of family tragedy, but in the end both return to fiction.
In spite of the fairytale atmosphere, the film shows some pretty dark moments that parents need to know about when they decide to take small children to watch (be careful, spoilers ahead). The father of the main characters is cut off his hand for an unpaid debt, and Peter's imagination creates the evil Captain Hook, whom the boy chops off his hand in revenge. And little Alice, in spite of her mother, drinks alcoholic tincture, after which the girl shrinks and dreams of running away from home. Here the creators of the picture go too far with imagery and create material that is unlikely to be suitable for young viewers. And this despite the fact that the beginning of the tape in the manner of presenting the story is aimed precisely at a young audience.
It's strange that director Brenda Chapman would agree to such script decisions, given her experience in making stories for children. Chapman was on the creative team for The Lion King , The Prince of Egypt and directed Brave . Perhaps after ending her collaboration with Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios, Brenda Chapman decided to create something less naive and the opposite of Disney motives. The result turned out to be peculiar: because of Peter and Alice, the film is still associated with a fairy tale, in moments it becomes a child's fantasy, in separate scenes - a joyless life, and at the end it again changes the genre direction, completely breaking away from reality.
What is successful in the film is the elaborate sets and costumes. The house where the main characters live is decorated with colorful wallpapers, drawings, candlesticks and numerous little things reminiscent of the Victorian era. David Oyelowo's character works in a beautiful workshop that can be seen in the garden through large glass windows. The heroine of Angelina Jolie finds small gifts for children that resemble attributes from fairy tales (because of the lush styling, the actress herself resembles a fairy-tale character). Also, the visual component is complemented by a soundtrack by composer John Debney, which adds an atmosphere of adventure to the fantasy scenes.
Alas, the scenery and music can't make the plot much better. The film shows the ability of children to avoid tragedy by hiding in a fantasy world. This topic can be revealed without the use of the famous characters of Peter Pan and Alice, which the scriptwriters exploit for recognition and ease of perception. But it is with them that the story does not seem original, moreover, in the interpretation of the filmmakers, it becomes rather gloomy.