Ever wonder what would happen if Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and J.M.Barrie’s Peter Pan merged into one fabulous tale of family and perseverance ? Well, thanks to ‘Brave’ director Brenda Chapman that is now a reality. What is also a reality is that the family is multi-racial and the fables are given a live-action treatment with gorgeous cinematography by Jules O’Loughlin.
Before Peter became Pan and Alice visited Wonderland, they were siblings. In this magical place, the children are free to play and have their imaginations run wild. However, change is imminent when Aunt Eleanor, who is extremely critical of how the children are being raised, shows up and arranges for David to attend a prestigious boarding school. When tragedy strikes, the family begins to fall apart both emotionally and financially, so Alice and Peter attempt to find a solution. Attempting to sell a family treasure, the kids find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous underworld sending them on an adventure that will change the course of their lives.
Come Away is a great lesson in how the youth, vitality and wild imagination of our parents can shape and foster our creativity for decades to come. The scene that best illustrates that point is one between Rose (Angelina Jolie) and Alice aka Tiger Lilly (Keira Chansa) as she breaks down the origins of Tinker Bell.
Loved watching the interracial coupling of David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie, even though Jolie looked uber uncomfortable during a kissing scene. In addition to Jolie and Oyelowo, the cast is star-studded with the likes of Michael Caine (Charlie), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Adult Alice) and Clarke Peters (Hatter).
What I was intrigued by was the mix of fantasy and reality at the start while the kids were off on their adventure. Those moments were fast, furious and fascinating. However, the film feels a geared more toward an adult audience than for the intended audience of children. The pacing is a little long and the premise goes off track a bit, but finds its way back for the final act that will bring a tear to your eye. Come Away will be available at home on demand and in theaters on November 13th.