Friday, March 02, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia (Gabor Csupo, 2007)

Bridge to Terabithia (Gabor Csupo, 2007)


There are a lot of things the matter with "Bridge to Terabithia," Gabor Csupo's adaptation of the Newberry Award-winning children's book by Katherine Paterson, first and foremost being the trailer, which leads you to expect a "Narnia" or "Lord of the Rings" type adventure--nothing of that sort. "Bridge" is about the friendship that develops between two lonely youths, both eleven years old--Jesse, a boy trapped in a chaotic lower-middle-class household with four other women and a seemingly uncaring father; and Leslie, the only child of a pair of loving, well-to-do parents.

The fantasy, it's pretty much made clear here, is strictly in the children's minds--no complex psychological or metaphysical questions posed, no blurring of fiction and reality beyond what can easily be explained by a parent to a child. This is no "Pan's Labyrinth," where the fantasy takes on unsettling parallels with grim reality, even intruding upon it at several points; no "Heavenly Creatures," where the lure of fantasy for two girls is so strong their very sanity is thrown into question. This movie's fantasy is mostly by-the-numbers escapism, set against a reality where--though some of the circumstances may be unpleasant, even tragic--the people transcend said circumstances through persistent strength of character and basic human decency.


Anonymous said...

Just not what i expected at all. I sat there with my mouth open when they killed the main girl. I think I was more traumatized than my daughter. I was apalled at how they marketed this movie. The following day we went to see The Astronaut Farmer, a flick they were saying was “family”. I was hesitant, but from the reviews I read they weren’t any hidden agendas. I loved it and now I’m spreading the word as far as I can. This is a movie that everyone kid should see– as well as their mother and father. It will leave you smiling and optimistic about the world we live in.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Mr. Anonmyous... I have actually snuck out of work early so I can take my kids to see The Astronaut Farmer at a matinee... because they wanted to see it again, actually mainly due to the two kids in the film... I saw this Bridge and thought, despite the pretty visuals, the ending had me and the whole crowd deflated... what a pooper, people.

Noel Vera said...

Well, that's pretty much what I said about the trailer, wasn't it?

I'm not one to approve or disapprove of a movie because it's traumatic, depressing, etc. (check out, oh, "The Boys of St. Vincent" for unoptimistic fare that I admire very much); it's the details (how skilfully it accomplished my trauma, depression, etc.) that are the basis of my approval or disapproval.

That said, you really should be able to get what you're expecting from the trailer--it's only fair. That's why I usually don't pay attention to trailers--only the one for this picture was so omnipresent you can't help but expect a "Lord of the Rings" (which, thankfully, it wasn't).

Anonymous said...

you're right, it wasn't Lord of the Rings, which is what I thought it was gonna be like. Instead I was bamboozled like Spike Lee. I can't beleive I took my girlfriends kid to see it and he hated it, and didn't get it. We should have went to see the Astronaut Farmer, like everyone else. Atleast I'd know what I was looking at.