'Christopher Robin' review: Old soul and pretty pictures
Marc Forster’s Christopher Robin starts well, with an opening that exhibits almost everything that is good about it.
More a breeze than a blizzard
Young Christopher (Orton O’Brien), who is off to boarding school, drops by the Hundred Acre Wood to say farewell to Winnie the Pooh (voiced by Jim Cummings) and his other forest-dwelling friends.
Over honey, pastries and touching testimonials, Christopher finally lets go of his childhood, and in an elegant and heartbreaking montage, we see the carefree boy of A. A. Milne’s little stories transform into a family man (Ewan McGregor) unrelenting to the desires of his wife (Hayley Atwell) and daughter (Bronte Carmichael).
Separation, death, war, and the demands of a work-a-day life has fully stripped Christopher of both the innocence and the wonder of his youth.
The opening’s presents wistfully and briskly the aches of growing up.
While the film doesn’t necessarily go downhill, it never really sustains the allure of its promise of blending the regrets of adult life with the quaint joys of being reunited with a forgotten childhood.
The biggest problem of the film is that except for its opening, almost everything else in the film revolves around non-events. While Christopher Robin strives to stay true to the spirit of Milne’s text which carves wisdom out of the most mundane of adventures, it struggles to connect the bleakness of Christopher’s journey to adulthood with the minute demands of the quest he is faced with.
It can’t be helped to long for more, or to expect that this particular film strike a more melancholic chord. Instead, it seems satisfied with being more a breeze than a blizzard and ends up being easy to forget despite its very ample pleasures.
Alluring thing of the past
It’s still a beautiful film.
Each frame is composed to look like a somber greeting card or a page out of a picture book. Christopher Robin banks on nostalgia. The designs of Pooh and his friends have a used quality to them. They resemble stuffed toys and puppets that have been left in the attic, only to be recovered not as playthings, but as antiques.
It is almost as if Forster wanted the film to have the aesthetic of foregone films, turning the material into an alluring thing of the past to be rediscovered and not a remodeled franchise .
If only for that, Christopher Robin is a worthwhile film. It isn’t just a project to make a quick buck out of fond memories. There is an old soul dwelling within all of its pretty pictures and absurd and aloof storytelling.
Very potent emotions
Christopher Robin isn’t a film that will shake the world.
It is perhaps too gentle and too contained to do that. However, and despite its small and meager ambitions, it still manages to evoke very potent emotions that are rarely felt today. – Rappler.com