Hook – A Reflective Review

September 6, 2013 4:26 pm

It’s hard to believe that ‘Hook’ the film based on Sir Barrie’s amazing Peter Pan story is over twenty years old now. I found it on beloved LoveFilm one Sunday night when I was at a loose end and in need of distraction… And what a movie to provide it!

Peter Pan eventually found love back in London England in the form of Wendy’s granddaughter Moira.  But Captain Hook, stuck back in Neverland forever fighting off the Lost Boys and Indians, has not forgotten or forgiven, and kidnaps the now very-grown-up, business-orientated Peter’s often-overlooked kids, holding them as leverage for Pan’s assured return so Hook can have the final war with him and the Lost Boys he’s been gearing up for for years.  Peter returns with the help of Tink but, has completely forgotten everything, including his own real identity over the course of the years in which he’s been in the Real World.  So both sides start to prepare for a fight to the death, prepared to do anything to gain an advantage…images (8)

Robin Williams makes a convincing Pan, who has literally given up his wild youthful days and forgotten all about them, needing to be put through rigorous tests before he can remember and do what is needed of him.  With such a role and how it has been written, one needs to balance the comedy with the more serious moments with gravitas and, proving even here that he’s not just a comic actor, Williams strikes it very right!

Dustin Hoffman and Bob Hoskins make a wonderfully formidable and naturally funny team as Captain Hook and Smee, bouncing off each other splendidly (and probably with a good pinch of ad-lib) in several scenes.  It’s hard to believe it actually is Hoffman under all those eyebrows, but with his usual Method style, completely throws himself into the role and is unidentifiable within it.  (As a fellow actor, I’m in awe of when actors can do this)

A lot of the kid actors in it as well are quite obviously having the time of their lives and hold a good performance despite their young years.  Maggie Smith is on top form, as per, as Wendy, as is Caroline Goodall, most recently seen as the bitchy Duchess Cecily in The White Queen (who’d have thought it?!)

It is a wonderfully feel-good movie, even with the death scene (no spoilers here, me laddie!)  The added touch of making Neverland a young kids paradise to live in, complete with proper treehouse with a built in skate park, weapons which fire eggs and rotten tomatoes and a real Us vs. Grown-ups feel to it, makes one feel both nostalgic for one’s own childhood and proves very endearing in the overall feel of the film, without being overly twee.

We also see a very endearing take on where Peter Pan may originally have come from, which is never really touched upon in the book (if memory serves).  The more tender moments are of course needed in such scripts, coming in the form of realizations of what life’s important moments are and should be.  These softer moments are also very reminiscent of Barrie’s writing style, where happiness is mixed with reflective sorrow, proving almost surprisingly shocking.

It completely takes you back to being a kid, its overall message being it’s okay to get older, but you don’t necessarily have to give up being a kid.

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