What is a fairytale? Is it a
story of something that happened long ago and used to
teach a lesson? Is it the fantasy world of the lonely that
used to cope with life's pain and unfairness ? Or is
it simply a merciful escape from a harsh reality?
All these things are explored in this tragically inspiring
movie called “Neverwas.” It’s the story of a young
psychiatrist, played by Aaron Eckhart (Thank You for
Smoking), who returns to work at the mental institution that
failed his manic depressive father (Nick Nolte). Having been
a witness to his father's steady decline into depression
which lead him to eventually commit suicide, he blames
himself for not believing in his father’s love for him and
not being able to help him. Through all this pain, his
father writes a children’s book set in a place of fantasy
called “Neverwas”. This is a place of fairies, kings,
dungeons, and even a hero, named Zachery, after his own
beloved son. The fantasy story is written with such detail,
it is almost as if he had been there and wrote it from
memory. It captives most people, especially children, except
his own son.
As he begins his new job at this place which is both
familiar and painful to him, he begins to help an old man,
played wonderfully by Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings,
X-Men) who seems to recognize him immediately. Believing the
man is delusional, he humors him and tries to play along,
that is of course until he realizes the man's delusion is
his own father's fantasy world, down to the very details.
Caught between his painful past and helping this desperate
man, he begins to question his own reality.
This is a wonderful story, both about reality and fantasy.
It is about love, family, and looking at circumstances with
your heart. It has been a longtime since a movie has made me
cry, but I have to admit that this one made my heart ache
with compassion for all of the wonderful characters in it,
and no amount of fighting kept back the tears. The story is
melancholic, inspiring, heartbreaking and sweet. In
addition the star studded cast, which also include Brittany
Murphy and Jessica Lange, create a magic that can be found
only in fairytales.
English Dolby Digital 5.1,
Subtitles French & Spanish.
Review By Helen
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