Is ‘Peter Pan and Wendy’ Wand-Wave Worthy?
Peter Pan and Wendy is a filmic discourse on adulting, and it may be regarded as an argument on how to grow up or not. One of the characters says unabashedly with conviction, ‘No. This is what it looks like when you grow up wrong.’
The movie begins with a make-believe sword fight scene between Wendy Darling (Ever Anderson) and her brothers: John Darling (Joshua Picking) and Michael Darling (Jacobi Jupe). Wendy, who should be getting ready for her shipment to boarding school, does not want to go. She knows the trap adulthood is and expresses her desire to never (pun unapologetically intended) grow up.
In classic parenting style, her mother, Mrs. Darlington (Molly Parker) tries to sell her the adulthood, but Wendy is unimpressed. So, it is only expected, though shocking, that when Peter Pan (Alexander Molony) and Tinker Bell (Yara Shahidi) show up in pixie dust for the first time ever, she is willing to fly away at night to a place she does not know with a boy from a story!
What happened to ‘Stranger danger’? Despite the foreboding that this expression suggests, it looks like Wendy will do anything to run away from becoming an adult. We get it Wendy Darling! We all do, and, in your defense, which is how the original story goes. If you do not go with Peter, who will?
While this movie has a fun run, there have been some tweaks made to it; some, necessary and others, just confusing. Some girls also got lost as there are now Lost Boys and Girls to our surprise and Wendy’s too. Captain Hook (Jude Law) is also limping between being a villain, victim, and a shameless man who should just stop the rubbish and grow up. Does he? You will see.
Another thing that is confusing in this movie is the real stance Peter Pan takes in this movie. He is portrayed as someone who traps children and prevents them from reaching their full potential. In addition, he is an equally lost child who now offers the hope of a forever pain-free life. In this context, is he a villain or not? You must find out without any spoilers.
The actors did an excellent job delivering their lines and portraying the emotions viewers needed to see. From fear, to wonder and everything else, their acting was superb, but something really tried to steal their shine.
It is the poor lighting in this movie. Is it not Ironic since folks were supposed to see the magic that Disney is all about? Therefore, the gloominess this movie evokes in scenes that were meant to be hopeful and magical is disturbing. The pixie dust barely brightened up the place and Tinker Bell did not really shine as fairies do since her glow was like something made from expired pastel. It was hard to watch her like that. That was not fairylike.
Was this deliberate or just the outcome of this new desire to remake everything without adequate preparation? Either way, it should have been magical. It did not evoke the usual wand-waving feel we are used to and expected to have in fairytales.
Away from the contradictions, does Wendy decide to grow up or does she remain in Neverland with Peter Pan while encouraging others to try adulthood? Again, you must find out.
Release date: 28 April 2023
Runtime: 1 hour 46 minutes.
Streaming Service: Disney Plus.
Director: David Lowery.
Cast: Alexander Molony, Yara Shahidi, Jude Law, Ever Anderson, Alyssa Wapanatahk, Joshua Pickering, Noah Matthews, Jacobi Jupe, Jeremy Sumpter, Jesse James Pierce.