Joe Wright's Pan (2015): How Peter gets transformed

This time Peter befriends Hook to fight the Pirate Blackbeard

By Anirban Lahiri

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Pan, Movie Poster, Directed by Joe Wright, starring Hugh Jackman
Pan (2015) - By Joe Wright
Our Rating: 6.5
IMDb Ratings: 6.1
Genre: Adventure  | Family  |  Fantasy
CastLevi Miller, Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund
Country: USA | UK | Australia
Language: English
Runtime: 111 min
Color: Color

Summary: 12-year-old orphan Peter is spirited away to the magical world of Neverland, where he finds both fun and danger, and ultimately discovers his destiny - to become the hero who will be forever known as Peter Pan.

This autumn, the new offering from the Warner Bros. brings the story of the initiation of Peter Pan, the child from the Neverland, who never grows up. The characters are the same, in this new dish; at least some of them. But, their relations are sometimes different.

It is the magic of the Neverland where the skyfaring pirate ship smuggles Peter out of his orphanage, in London, during the World War II. This is the land of the Pirate Chief Blackbeard, who runs an open-cast mining operation, with the captive slaves, to find large deposits of fairy dust, or pixite. That fluffy green, cobwebby material keeps him youthful.

Hugh Jackman as Pirate Blackbeard, in Pan (2015), Directed by Joe Wright
Hugh Jackman as Pirate Blackbeard
Peter, the 12 year orphan boy, finds himself to possess the talent for flying in the air, here, in this mine. He has an ambition – to find his mother. The Neverland adds another, bigger, ambition to this. The inhabitants of the Neverland, including the Pirate Blackbeard, think that Peter is the one who would be the King by killing the Pirate.

Peter finds two main accomplices in this new role – his fellow captive Hook, and the native Princess Tiger Lily. Things turn more a mixture of Star Wars (1977) and Avatar (2009) from here.

Peter gets pinned down by the tribe, Directed by Joe Wright
Peter gets pinned down by the tribe
It is interesting to note that Pan has grotesque ingredients mixed in grotesque fashion to tell a made-up tale on the background of a most popular literary classics of all times. It is grotesque from the beginning to the end.

But, that sensationalizes!

This is a truly bad film from the Director Joe Wright, who previously made notable films such as Pride& Prejudice (2005), Atonement (2007) and Anna Karenina (2012). Probably, this is his quirky attempt at fantasy and vfx. He fails there, but after making an equally quirky statement.

The pirate ship in moonlight in Pan, Directed by Joe Wright
The pirate ship in moonlight
You would enjoy Pan the way you enjoy a grotesquely looking drink of exotic blue color with vibrant toppings.

I have enjoyed the film, knowing thoroughly that I am watching a badly cobbled up one. But, that is a different sensation.

Rooney Mara as Princess Tiger Lily in Pan, Directed by Joe Wright
Rooney Mara as Princess Tiger Lily
The Cinematography, the VFX, the skeletal birds with rainbow plumage, the sharp edit, the modern lullaby and the Neverland sound, and especially the way these elements are put together to form the story visually, evokes the spirit of film and animation school 3D diploma films.

Especially that is why Pan should be watched in the theatre. For a different sort of pleasure. More of such 3D and VR films are the future. 

Garrett Hedlund as James Hook in Pan, Directed by Joe Wright
Garrett Hedlund as James Hook
So, let’s go and watch it. And, let’s not forget to bring our children to the theatre!

P.S. Hugh Jackman looks and sounds funnily interesting as the Pirate Blackbeard.

Rating : 6.5/10 (Maybe much higher when seen through my childhood eyes)

Recommended for family viewing and nostalgia.

Readers, please feel free to share your views/opinions in the comment box below. As always your feedback is highly appreciated!  

About Author - 

Anirban is a Cinematographer and film teacher. After a marathon teaching of filmmaking for five years in Digital Academy, Mumbai, he is busy writing his own film now. He was with DearCinema during its first phase. Steeped in cultural theory, observation and history, he sees all his work as part of a continuum – critique. Anirban consciously plays the role of a critic while shooting films, teaching, writing stories, and of course while critiquing. His favourite filmmakers are Sergei Eisenstein, Orson Welles, Jean-Luc Godard, Ritwik Ghatak, Satyaji Ray, Luis Buñuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Abbas Kiarostami and Nagisa Oshima, to name a few.


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