Jack (David Oyelowo) and his wife Rose (Angelina Jolie) are parents to three young children. After a tragic incident occurs with one of the family members, the young children in the family (named Peter and Alice) decide to use their imagination and set out on new journeys venturing into worlds like Neverland and Wonderland.
The film’s setup for the most part is pleasing. We gain an introduction to each character, and it is evident that this family encourages the use of imagination and creativity. We also see our leading children talking about their imaginary worlds, along with playing around the house and outside in the woods nearby. When the children are playing together, I found it quite pleasing the way it switches from the kid’s imaginary world to the real world. One moment we see a child running around with a stick, and suddenly it is a bow and arrow.
For those who are not aware, Come Away is a combination of a family film mixed in with heavy drama, along with beautiful elements of fantasy. The film’s performances are enjoyable, but I was most impressed with the actors of the young characters, Peter (Jordan A. Nash) and Alice (Keira Chansa). They managed to bring a range of emotions to the screen, such as grief and trying to move forward by using their imagination. It’s a lot of work for young actors to pull off and I feel they did a tremendous job.
While I feel performances for the most part are pleasing, and the film’s concept is excellent and a unique idea, the film, for the most part, is fairly bland. We witness the parents going through many issues other than grief, but mostly the film follows two young children. Despite all of this, I never felt entirely engaged with this film. There are also some moments where I honestly questioned if a scene was imaginary or real. The pacing between scenes is also questionable as many moments never really matched up or felt unnecessary. Actor Michael Caine also makes an appearance, but it’s so short I honestly questioned what was the point of using such a talented actor in a forgettable role.
Overall, this film is a mixed bag for me. I loved the film’s premise and concept along with the cast on screen. The film’s plot is quite bland, and I never felt entirely invested. With a slow start and unusual pacing between scenes, Come Away is a drama film with fantasy, but lacks the real magic that could have been. Even with excellent performances, particularly from the young child actors, Come Away will undoubtedly touch hearts, but only for a brief moment, unlike a good fairy tale.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden