Sunday, August 06, 2006

Peter Pan: A behind-the-scenes look

So I just finished watching "Finding Neverland", starring the enchanting Johnny Depp as "Peter Pan" author James Matthew Barrie.

The movie is a fictionalized version of J.M. Barrie's relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn-Davies (played by the equally elegant Kate Winslet), a widow, and her four (in reality, five) sons, which served as Barrie's inspiration to write the story of Peter Pan.

It appeared to me as sort of a bittersweet tale of finding one's muse. Barrie was married, and yet the inspiration he needed to make what is now a classic children's tale was a woman who was not his wife, and boys who were not his sons.

His relationship with his wife did appear to be in need of mending - they slept in separate rooms - and it did not help that Barrie spent more time with a widow and her sons than with his own wife.

But I found it beautiful how the movie portrayed Mary Barrie bowing out of their relationship - she understood that this was what her husband needed to make the story that would make him a fulfilled playwright. (In reality, Mary Barrie had a relationship with another writer, and her marriage to J.M. Barrie ended in divorce.)

Of course the story of the movie has been modified for cinematic purposes. Yet it was a nice "behind-the-scenes" look at how the story of Peter Pan came to be.

However, reading up on the Llewelyn-Davies boys was quite a surprise. The movie implied a happily-ever-after ending, but
the truth was actually far from that (the real Peter committed suicide at age 63...).

(Read a good summary of J.M. Barrie, his relationship with the Llewelyn-Davies boys, and the making of Peter Pan here.)

- - - - -

Watching P.J. Hogan's
"Peter Pan" last night and then "Finding Neverland" tonight has got me really interested in the real story of Peter Pan. Luckily, I just found an online version of the actual book, and I just might read it. You see, it's quite hard to have watched Hogan's "Peter Pan", with Spielberg's "Hook" going on in the back of my mind. Like I said in my previous post, the story came across as weird and disorienting, because I already had a preconceived and modified idea of the story of the boy who never grew up.

As for "Finding Neverland" as a movie, Johnny Depp is such a winner. I always find myself being immersed in whatever character he plays (though admittedly I think I've only seen maybe two or three Depp movies :D ). Truly, he is one gifted actor, with the looks and charisma to boot. I remember watching him on Oprah, just around the time I watched the VCD of "Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl" (maybe a year or two after it was shown in the cinema, hehe). And I was truly mesmerized by his personality. His girl is one lucky woman ;)

Ayan tuloy, gusto ko manood ng "Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Man's Chest". Andrew and I have missed out on so many great movies lately. During the summer, he had a cast, and it was quite uncomfortable for him to move around. Then his mom came home from the States, so we weren't quite free to watch movies during the weekends (which is the only time we can get to watch movies or go out - work, you know). And then I got sick - two weekends in a row, with matching hospitalization - so that makes our list of missed good movies quite long: The Da Vinci Code, Superman, Pirates, Lady in the Water, Miami Vice, etc etc etc. All because of work and other grown-up responsibilities.

Sometimes makes you wanna be Peter Pan, huh? ;)

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