Finding Neverland brings back childhood memories

The story of Peter Pan has been a childhood favorite since its opening night in 1904, and the origin of the fairy tale is introduced in Finding Neverland.

Johnny Depp plays J.M. Barrie, the famous Scottish playwright, who was a genius of his time, but was looking for new inspiration. Barrie was known to be very eccentric and for keeping to himself on his daily trips to the park.

In the film, during one visit Barrie meets the Llewelyn Davies family of four boys and their recently widowed mother Sylvia, played by Kate Winslet. Barrie begins to spend more and more time with the boys and their mother, playing and teaching the boys tricks, disguises, and creating play-worlds that would later influence the theme of Peter Pan.

As Barrie finds inspiration and new friends during his park visits, his wife (Rhada Mitchell) and the boys’ grandmother (Julie Christie) begin to resent him. Both are uncomfortable with the time Barrie spends with Sylvia and the boys. Barrie does not give up his relationship with the children, as he is in the middle of writing and producing Peter Pan. He has to convince his producer (Dustin Hoffman) that the play will be a success and shocks the actors with requests of flying across the stage, talking to fairies, and wearing dog costumes.

While Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet provide the star factor of the film, the truly impressive performance comes from Freddie Highmore who plays Peter, one of the Llewelyn Davies boys.

Highmore’s character is still grieving over the loss of his father and is the last one to befriend Barrie. Peter Davies becomes Barrie’s title character for his play. Highmore is only about 10 years old in the film, but his acting will really impress the audience.

The film is based on true events but has a magic, fairy tale quality and while it is rated PG, it is not a childish movie. There are a lot of imagination-inspiring scenes and adult themes as well. Finding Neverland explores the minds of children and adults and somehow brings the two worlds together to show how even as we grow up, part of us will always hold on to our inner child.