Francis Lawrence’s Slumberland is a pleasant and unexpected surprise. It won’t be the film of the year, but it manages to thrill with an incredible and fantastic adventure in the world of dreams
ason Momoa co-star, the premise of a super colorful fantasy adventure in the world of dreams and finally the direction of Francis Lawrenceor one that, despite a good job with the saga of Hunger Games, has not always given us memorable works. All elements which, together with a multichromatic trailer but edited so as not to perfectly enhance the film, prepared us for the vision of Slumberland with low expectations.
And yet, if you still haven’t come across this first work in the rankings of the most viewed of Netflixyou should give it a chance.
A dutiful note, for the avoidance of doubt: obviously we are not faced with a masterpiece, but the result is completely convincing and does its duty perfectly.
The story – moreover an adaptation of an old comic by Winsor McCay – has a dramatic incipit, with the protagonist Nemo (played by a very good Marlow Barkley), an eleven-year-old girl who has already lost her mother and lives with the Father Peter (Kyle Chandler) away from the mainland, since he is a lighthouse keeper. It is he who teaches her about life and gives her the basics of school, but one sad day even her father suddenly dies in an attempt to save a fishing boat. Nemo is thus forced to go and live in the city with her uncle Philip (Chris O’Dowd), Peter’s brother, to whom his father was very close as a child but from whom unfortunately he had distanced himself a lot over time, until he practically no longer heard from him. Uncle Philip is the owner of a company that sells handles and locks, and he seems a totally different man from his brother, so Nemo’s first steps in this new life, where among other things he must also start attending school, are not at all simple.
The little one therefore finds refuge in sleep, or rather in dreams, in the magical world of Slumberland who welcomes her and in whom she finds a presence as bizarre as a friend in Flipa bizarre outlaw played by Jason Momoawho was already traveling in dreams together with Peter.
Will Nemo be able to go through dreams and nightmares to try to see his father at least once?
Without a doubt he will try, together with this adventure companion that he can’t help but remember a cartoon of Johnny Depp, but incredibly successful, which dangles and cheers with a piratical way, however showing a pure soul. It will be he, once Slumberland’s wanted number 1, who will lead her into the imaginative meanders of this world, providing her with some fundamental rules to keep in mind, such as the fact that dying in one’s dream only leads to awakening, but dying in other people’s dreams can have dangerous relapses into reality. However, this introduction to Slumberland is anything but heavy, lightened by intelligent writing, chromatic triumph and rainbow atmosphere with the contribution of cinematographer Jo Willems, between thousands of butterflies and salsa movements, or even chases in a city made of glass skyscrapers, always aiming to entertain but also, indeed above all, excite.
Lawrence’s work is in fact a family film, which grants itself an ending that naturally aims to impart life lessons but knows how to do it in the sweetest way possible. Way too easy? Maybe, but not everyone knows how to get to the hearts of viewers in such a stunning way.
You may not cry in the end, but a Slumberland will definitely go into your eye.