‘Come Away’ had a lofty goal to reach when it set forth to combine two of the most cherished storylines in storybook history, those of ‘Peter Pan’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland.’
Played by Jordan A. Nash and Keira Chansa, Peter and Alice are brother and sister who, along with their older brother David, young actor Reece Yates, don’t relish the idea of school, chores, and growing up. Their idea of the perfect existence is to literally live inside their dreams. It’s almost the end of summer, and since there is no school at the moment, they’ll do all they can to stretch out the time they have left and play tea parties, pirates, and frolic in the woods. Peter and David love swordplay over everything. At first, we see the weapons they are conjuring in their minds. After a few minutes pass, when a weapon lands on the ground, be it a knife, sword, or a bow and arrow, we see that their preferred tool for play is a simple piece of timber. Throughout the film, this sort of make-believe is directed very well by the large graphics team involved.
Their parents, Jack and Rose, portrayed by David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie, like to help develop their children’s love of art and fantasy by reading to them and pretending, as well. Jack is a craftsman, and Rose encourages her young ones by reading to them every night, even playing along during the day. In a beautiful scene between Rose and her only daughter, Alice, you feel as though you see a little of who Jolie is with her own children. To connect with Alice on her level, she tells the child that the ‘tinker,’ who was melting down some pots, made Alice a bell with the leftover metal. She goes on to explain that fairies are too magical to be seen by the human eye but that each child has a fairy born especially for them.
Alice is wide-eyed when Rose discloses that the ‘Tinker’s Bell’ was born just for her as the loving mother rings the tiny alarm. I couldn’t help but notice the sweetness and love in Jolie’s eyes and voice. They seem beyond that of what an actor is capable of during a normals day at work. What I believe you’ll see is a loving mother seeing to it that her daughter is amazed for a moment. Jolie, showing us through her character that being a mother means more to her than anything. It’s quite possibly the best scene in the movie. Kudos for her ability to project this sort of emotion for us and for director Brenda Chapman to see the reaction’s potential.
Not long after, catastrophe hits the young family and what we have is the genesis of two adventures and stories of wonder, turning into too much realism and noise.
All was going very well when we thought we were about to be taken on a magical ride. Suddenly, however, the idea of being whisked away is crushed by watching a gambler return to bad habits, drugs and alcohol are introduced into the storyline, and a horrible death becomes a large part of the narrative. Playtime is over.
Who knows what’s coming next? Biggest question is, will the audience want to find out? Well, the CGI is good. The dramatic events and how they play out are well done, and the acting is first-rate, but the key to enjoying ‘Come Away’ is in knowing what you’re in for to a degree. I feel compelled to mention that it’s a bit much for the youngest in the family. That is unless you’re ready for some depth conversations after watching. Having said that, without family watching, it’s not a movie for adults to be all that excited about either. For you, I’ll be honest… it’s a touch rudimentary. It sits in the middle of the pile, somewhere between good and bad. ‘Come Away’ has an arresting premise and an outstanding cast. But, I’m sad to say that it was made just ambiguously enough to have no stable perch with to rest.
FOLLOW COME AWAY:
*IN THEATRES AND AT HOME ON DEMAND NOVEMBER 13, 2020
Director: Brenda Chapman
Writers: Marissa Kate Goodhill
Stars: David Oyelowo, Jordan Nash, Keira Chansa, Reece Yates, Anna Chancellor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Angelina Jolie, with Derek Jacobi and Michael Caine
Running Time: 1h 34m
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy