A movie review for a change!
Title: Winter's Tale
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Writers: Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Mark Helprin (based on the book Winter's Tale by)
Stars: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe
Release date: 14th of February 2014
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.
I saw the movie already a couple of weeks ago, but I still wanted to write a review because even if I didn’t completely like it, it still affected me in one way or another. I haven’t read the book so I can’t really compare it to the movie, but thus, I can write about its impression on me without being influenced by the original.
First things first: I admit I cried a lot, and I tried everything not to, there was just a wave after wave of emotional scenes that I couldn’t fight against. I tried watching the ceiling, thought of my cute naughty cats, thought what to buy later at the supermarket, about this funny story I read earlier about farting, etc but NOTHING could take me mentally as far as necessary to stop the tears from falling. Well, I have to admit, I’m quite the crybaby, but not always (except when animals are involved), I think I just have to be in this specific state (no idea what it means) and boy did this movie put me in that state. I didn’t even have to think hard, but the faucet was turned and the tears just couldn’t stop coming. But, I have to admit this movie had everything needed from the bag of tricks: animals in trouble, an unhappy romance, some disease, people dying, injustice of life, kids – a total recipe for me to bawl my eyes out. And it wasn’t a bad thing here, on the contrary I wouldn’t cry if I weren’t moved and I most certainly was, hence, good job!
Overall, I guess I’m supposed to view the story as a more mature fairy tale, but for some reason it didn’t work for me that way. The reality and multiple fantasy elements didn’t really mix well with me and I would have preferred one or the other. I can’t even explain it and maybe I’m just babbling nonsense, but there seemed to be something missing, something to link the two aspects more securely and tightly together. I also had small issues with the pace. The time swift when the action started to take place in the current time, didn’t really connect with the initial one for me. I felt there wasn’t a good bridge tying them together so it felt like the story was just cut with scissors at one point and attached roughly with a new part. Maybe it was supposed to be like, but I don’t know… Let’s leave it at that.
I thought the romance was incredibly sweet (even though I hate disease, bittersweet and star-crossed lovers romances if they don’t have this specific ending I prefer) and I thought the actress playing Beverly was beyond gorgeous and she absolutely fit the part and her whole essence seemed like she was part of that era, such subtle grace, delicate manners and sweet personality. I had some issues seeing Colin as the romantic and emotional hero, because he just seems too rough around the edges for such a role, but I guess I got used to him soon. The romance was, to put it bluntly, the dreaded insta love, but something about the way it was presented and how the couple developed together made it work for me.
I also liked the whole look of the movie, the locations were magical and beautiful, but not overdoing it and still mature in a sense (this is no children’s fairy tale), the atmosphere of the scenes certainly managed what they were intended to bring about in audiences with me and I just loved the whole mood of the movie.
I have to admit there was one scene that made me burst out in laugher and I don’t even know if it was because I was surprised or it was just unexpected or… I didn’t really check out who was acting in this movie (except for Colin, which was obvious) before seeing it so when I saw Will Smith appear, I thought that was the most random thing I’ve seen in a while. He was the last person I was expecting in that role and I can’t say it was a bad choice, but it certainly seemed odd. Maybe because I’m so used to seeing him in humorous roles and action movies… who knows. Russell Crowe, however I must add, was an awesome villain.
I’m guessing that most who have read the book will be disappointed, because as much as I’ve heard, the book is a brilliant work of fiction and filled to the brim with gorgeous prose, detailed and intriguing characters, a multitude of storylines weaved together masterfully and just full of rich text. Still, there was much to appreciate about this adaptor, so I wouldn’t just write it off.
Not in any way perfect, but give it a chance, I’m quite nitpicky, but ended still liking it and as I said, I wouldn’t cry like a baby if it wasn’t at least decent!