A Fantastic Fantasy of Reality

Finding Neverland (2004) by Marc Forster
Other films by Marc Forster: Monster's Ball (2001), Stranger Than Fiction (2006), The Kite Runner (2007)
I haven’t read Peter Pan myself and was only acquainted with it when I was a child watching the film. As I reflect now I seemingly regret not having been touched by the film in its magical sense. It’s kind of odd I’m touched with the hidden joys of being a child at this part of my life, maybe I’m just sentimental.

From the reviews that I’ve read, the films is mostly just an inspired and a semi-autobiographical account of J.M Barrie’s process of creating the legendary tale of Peter Pan. The film allows you to step inside the realm of his thoughts and feelings, to actually feel how it is to be a grown up who feels like how a child feels. What keeps this film levelled on the ground is how it also depicts the involvement and the perspectives of the people outside the main character’s environment. How would people see a person such as Barrie, who spends the majority of his time playing with the kids of a widow instead of spending his time with his own lonely wife? What would his wife think? How deep would his actions affect the future life of the widow and her children? Questions of concern are still evident in the film and it does not try to escape these logical conflicts, but at the same time there’s a soft child’s song lingering inside of you as you experience the film. You are taken by the imagination of Barrie, his relationship with the children, and the almost forgotten child inside of you.


Directing: The cinematography has an artistic and clean way of showing short and long scenes. It’s very creative and soothing how the scenes of imagination were made real by the film, as though we were seeing what Barrie was seeing during this time of his life; the process of writing the play.

The camera angles and movements were really well made and it gives a feeling of belongingness and art.

The Peter Pan play scene is just incredibly exciting and make you hope for its success. To empathize on the show during its release at that time must be dearly special and remarkable. The play is really inspiring to all people and I find it very touching that people appreciated and loved it.

“To die would be an awfully big adventure.”

“Time is chasing after all of us.”

The second take of the play was so heart-warming and special, it makes me want to be a kid again. And to believe.

Plot: The storyline really in inspiring especially during the kite scene. Makes you empathize with Barrie’s disposition and how childhood imagination can actually be felt and experienced in adulthood. I yearn to have such an experience to share with a child, or even an adult like me.

The confrontation scenes of Barrie between his wife and Mrs. Emma were logical and seemed like up cal not only for James but also for the audience who has been sucked by the fantasy of the film; it makes us realize that the story is still very much real.

Characters/Acting: J.M Barrie’s imagination and willingness to entertain and perform makes him such an interesting and admirable character, but you can also sense that his sincerity and passion may easily be an annoyance or a hinder to the society’s eyes, not to mention the look of other people.

The way Barrie is slowly gathering ideas for writing Peter Pan is really magical and inspiring, both for writers and people who have dreams.

Johnny Depp’s performance as James was incredible and very convincing. Winslet was impressive as always. Freddie Highmore’s acting as Peter is something special from a child actor, how wonderful and exciting for future cinema.

Score: The score really allows the audience to be drawn to the gentle and happy theme of the film. It sets the mood straight, like magical realism.

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