Starring: Yashua Mack, Devin France, Gage Naquin
Written by Benh Zeitlin and Elza Zeitlin, Directed by Benh Zeitlin
I have always been a fan of that moment after a player wins some big sporting event and someone sticks a microphone in his face and needs to know what he plans to do now that they have won the big game. Of course the answer is always the same because it’s just a giant commercial which kind of takes away from the moment. I bring this up just because I wish I could have asked that to Benh Zeitlin after securing multiple Oscar nominations for Beasts of the Southern Wild only to see if his answer would be not do another film for eight years. Well guess who is back and with the perfect way to mark his return but with a story that is oh so familiar?
At a dinner along some train tracks a mother raises her three kids as they help her in the diner she owns. While they are kids, their lives seem to be mapped out for them, but the desire to be free is sparked by a shadow on the wall one night. Wendy (Devin France) is the first to see it and it is calling to her, so she hakes her twin brothers, James (Gavin Naquin) and Douglas (Gage Naquin) and hops out the window with them in tow. It is then they see the shadow is a boy on a train and without hesitation, Wendy and the boys jump onto it to be carried to a place they don’t know. Once aboard they find out the boy’s name is Peter (Yashua Mack) and through a series of adventures takes them to an island that has a tribe of lost boys where time seems to stand still and you can remain forever young if you follow certain rules. It is during one of their adventures that something happens and a story unfolds that you have heard before, but this time from a point of view not seen before.
As a middle aged adult, something I don’t feel like at all, I can understand the desire to wanting to stay young. If I and a friend were to break out in a sword fight in the middle of Target , we might be locked up instead of just being called cute if we were young. What writers Benh Zeitlin and Eliza Zeitlin do with Wendy is give you the feeling of seeing the world through the eyes of a child again and the wonder that it can bring. There is a beauty in the way Benh Zeitlin tells this version of the classic tale of Peter Pan that has the feeling of his first film that got so much praise. It is easy to get lost in a haze through some of the scenes, but when it is all done the complete picture will leave you so satisfied it will actually leave you wanting more. This is an adventure you should take, because while it had familiar feels to it, you will also get a new feeling when it’s over.