Mediocre fantasy film leaves audiences dissatisfied

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Photo by Hillary B. Gayle/SMPSP/Maginot Line, LLC 2020

Rose Littleton (Angelina Jolie) and Alice (Keira Chansa) share a quiet moment in the 2020 action-filled movie, “Come Away”.

Looking for a way to pass the dull, humdrum of Corona-quarantine? Need an uplifting, action-packed and original movie to watch? Well, unfortunately, Brenda Chapman’s “Come Away” is not the movie for you. In an attempt to provide viewers with a family-friendly yet fantastical film, “Come Away” blends the eponymous characters from “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan”. Instead, audiences are left with a painfully trite movie that fails to seamlessly merge the whimsical worlds with reality.

“Come Away” begins in England at the idyllic country home of Jack Littleton (David Oyelowo) and Rose Littleton (Angelina Jolie). Their children, Peter Pan (Jordan A. Nash), Alice (Kiera Chansa) and David (Reece Yates) are motivated by them to become imaginative, free individuals. 

However, suddenly and unexpectedly, David is struck by lightning and drowns while playing outside with his brother. As each struggling family member finds ways to cope with his death, some better than others, Peter and Alice realize that their family is in danger. From there, the movie takes a twist and grows to involve issues like financial problems, family rivalry, gambling and more. 

None of these twists, however, are able to redeem the film. “Come Away” is adequate and would suffice if you could not find anything else. While watching, the audience is constantly ambushed with more and more issues involving the real world rather than the fantastical. While it is important to be aware of such problems ranging from gambling addictions to family deaths, it was unexpected and dour to see such matters to manifest in a whimsical, children’s movie. A loose-ended and unresolved plot is also one that is confused and likely to leave viewers unsatisfied. 

Overall, this movie was simply disappointing because of its inability to merge fantasy and reality pleasantly.

A spectacular cast, incredible acting and beautiful cinematography definitely add to the experience, but in this case, the bad outweighed the good. Similarly, exceptional costumes draw attention to fine details, and outstanding CGI wows and impresses throughout. Unfortunately, none of this was enough to distract from the fact that the actual narrative wasn’t attention-grabbing. 

A lack of closure, a weak plot and the initial lack of clarity of the message ruined any of its notable qualities. While the message of the movie was not completely obvious, as it progressed it became more apparent. Since both “Peter Pan” and “Alice in Wonderland” feature youthful and imaginative themes, one can interpret “imagination does not have an age limit” to be the central message of “Come Away”.

Oftentimes, directors leave parts of a movie to be interpreted by the audience. As was the case here, a plethora of scenes is likely to leave audiences puzzled and in need of an explanation. Seemingly, the quality of the cast and film work definitely made the cut, but the lack of clarity and resolve made “Come Away” a frustratingly strange and perplexing movie.

“Come Away” is currently available to watch on YouTube, Amazon, and Vudu, so grab a bowl of popcorn and brace yourself, but if you’re looking for a modern fantasy classic that won’t leave you scratching your head, consider clicking play on something else.