#REVIEW: WINTER’S TALE
Review by Jonathan Godfrey for Mr. Will Wong
As a young Man, Akiva Goldsman read Winter’s Tale shortly after it’s 1983 release. Nearly three decades later, following the death of his wife, he was moved to make the literary masterpiece into a Feature Film.
It was no small task mind you. To scale back 800 pages of prose into a 200 page script took some tinkering. Furthermore, to craft a version of New York City lost in time took some vision. Alas, he tinkered and imagined, toiled and ultimately triumphed. And now his first ever feature is out in time for Valentine’s Day.
Starring Colin Farrell (Peter Lake) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Beverly Penn), Winter’s Tale is a fantastical look at the power of love. Set primarily at the turn of the twentieth century, the story begins with Peter’s memories flashing before him. It’s jarring at first, confusing even, as both time and space seem hard to stitch together. But there’s a point to this that eventually becomes obvious. This is not a Film set firmly in reality, but is rather a familiar setting entrenched in fantasy.
Mythical animals, blood thirsty immortals, and enchanted settings abound. Though the attire and locations appear familiar, the Characters’ interactions with such seem everything but. There’s a charm to this, as even the Villains (i.e. Russell Crowe and Will Smith) feel more impressive because of it. The main Villain, Pearly Soames, is an agent of evil played brilliantly by Russell Crowe. Pearly desires only the destruction of light, or in other words, the death of all that is good. Peter represents that good via his love for Beverly. And this enchanting love seems capable of conquering even death itself.
In ways it does, in ways far different than many contemporary Flms. But let’s not spoil the surprise here. Instead let’s take a moment this Valentine’s Day to see that like this film the power of love is more than just an expensive evening out. Love is like a spell able to work miracles. It is a word that captures everything that binds us together. And love is exactly what Akiva Goldsman poured into this passion project. So for those of desirous of seeing the effervescent Colin Farrell embark on an eternal quest, suffice it to say you will not be disappointed.
Warner Bros. Pictures Canada releases Winter’s Tale on Valentine’s Day.