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Friday, January 23, 2015

Hook (Released in 1991) - A fantasy film - Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins

A 1991 fantasy movie directed by Steven Spielberg, Hook is based on the concept and idea of the beloved children’s book character - Peter Pan, growing up. A multi star cast movie with Robin Williams as a grown up Peter Pan (known as Peter Banning in the present day), Julia Roberts as Tinker Bell, Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, Maggie Smith as Granny Wendy, Bob Hoskins as Smee, Amber Scott and Charlie Korsmo as Peter Banning’s kids, and Caroline Goodall as Mrs Banning; Hook serves as a sequel to Peter and Wendy (1911).
The movie starts with Peter Pan all grown up, going by the name of Peter Banning. He is a successful corporate lawyer, with no recollection of his past as Peter Pan, and no memory of his life before the age of 12. He is shown to be more in touch with his cell phone than his children. Eventually the entire Banning family travels on a holiday to London to meet Granny Wendy, who is being honored for her work in setting up an orphanage. Granny Wendy remembers Peter’s past and opens up a plethora of adventure and magic in the viewers, when she asks Peter a simple question - “you really don’t remember who you are Peter?”
One night when Peter and his wife are out celebrating, Captain Hook abducts Peter’s children and takes them to Neverland. Peter comes home to find his children missing. Later that night, Tinker Bell confronts Peter and forces him to go back to Neverland with her to save his children. But, seeing a grown slightly out of shape Peter Pan, agitates Captain Hook who wants to kill Peter and his children. Finally, Smee reasons with Hook and deduces that spending a long time away from Neverland must have wiped away Peter’s memories. At the same time, Tinker Bell pleads with Hook to give Peter 3 days to prepare for a fight against Hook.

With 3 days granted to him, Peter and Tinker Bell go to the Lost Boys’ Home to prepare. None of the boys there believe him to be Peter Pan and go all out to try and humiliate him. Meanwhile Hook tries and turns Peter’s children against him, by feeding lies. While his daughter stays steadfast in her belief that her father will save them, Peter’s son Jack looks to Hook as a father figure. Through his journey back in Neverland, Peter discovers himself again, the time he had spent as a child in Neverland with Tinker Bell, the mistakes he has made in his adult life and the true value of family.
After 3 days he readies himself for a fight against Captain Hook, with the support of the orphans and Tinker Bell. He saves his children, defeats Hook and goes back to London to celebrate with his family. While the movie is a good concept, the promise of magic (considering it is a Steven Spielberg movie) leaves a lot to be desired. With the famous white light that sparks off outside his window, waiting to take Peter back to Neverland, as a viewer, we hope for a view of the lush green island full of fun, magic and surprises.
But Neverland fails to deliver. With more red-brown tones used throughout the island, Neverland feels more like it is witnessing a terrible draught. Also, there are too many props and too much happening on the costume front. The set looks exactly like a studio set, and not an exotic magical island. Most of the actors, including Hoffman and Roberts perform their parts more as a duty than something exciting. Robin Williams struggles hard to keep the magic alive, and he does succeed to an extent. But, one actor can do only so much to keep the magic alive. The fencing scenes between Williams and Hoffman towards the end leave a lot to be desired. Almost all Asian movies have tremendously better sword play than the one choreographed for this movie. All in all, the movie is worth one watch, specifically for the younger audience. But, with a storyline that starts off with a magical character having grown up, one does expect a lot more than what is delivered.

Hook (Released in 1991) - A fantasy film - Starring Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins

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