Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Film Review: "Pan" (2015).

The tagline of the film reads "Every legend has a beginning" and Pan tells that story. This British-American fantasy adventure film directed by Joe Wright and written by Jason Fuchs, and is a prequel to J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan. The film follows 12-year-old orphan Peter as he is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and dangers, and ultimately discovers his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

The story of Peter Pan is a timeless classic that has taken many forms of various adaptions. But this film brought us a unique version of a well-known story, and it was no easy task for the filmmakers. Even though Wright came on board after the first draft was completed, the screenplay was featured in the 2013 Blacklist of the "most liked" unmade scripts of the year. But Wright persevered, as he saw Pan as an opportunity to go back to the pure fantasy of his childhood. As a child growing up in England, Wright's parents ran a puppet theatre. For casting, in January 2014, Garrett Hedlund was first to be cast as a younger version of Captain Hook. As well as Jackman as the pirate Blackbeard. In February, a casting call was issued for the role of Peter Pan. To find the right actor to play Peter, the filmmakers looked at thousands of kids in the UK, the United States, Canada, and Australia before finding newcomer Levi Miller. The casting of actress Rooney Mara as the Native American character of Tiger Lily proved to be controversial. Even so far as to having an online petition that urged Warner Bros to stop casting Caucasian actors to play people of color. The casting was accused of whitewashing and the petition originally hoped for 5000 signatures. However, more than 20,000 signatures have supported the accusation. By April 2014, Principle Photography was underway, but the vast scope and imagination of Wright's vision could not be accommodated by any of the large soundstages in England, therefore the filmmakers had to extend and expand the Leavesden Studios and Cardington Studios stages outside London. Additional filming took place in Buckingham, South and West Kensington and Serbia. Filming may have proven to be a difficult flight, but Post Production was no laughing matter either. The film was originally scheduled for a July 24, 2015 release, but due to post-production issues and Joe Wright's change of composers, from Dario Marianelli to John Powell, led to the film's release being changed to October 9, 2015.

The film stars Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara, and introduces Levi Miller as the boy who would never grow up. The performances gave terrific performances despite early skepticism, especially to Jackman and Miller.

With its striking imagination, Pan is something that the kids will love. However, the major flaw of the film was its inability to completely re-imagine the material, to find something original and fresh with the Peter Pan myth. In the end, Wright should have simply remade the original story, straight, for today's generation.

Simon says Pan receives:

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