Sunday, February 18, 2007

Movie Review: Bridge to Terabithia

I took my daughters to see Bridge to Terabithia and I was really surprised at how much I loved the movie and how much my 14-year old, Sarah, hated it. In fact, she said it was the worst movie she had ever seen (she ranked it with Tron). I think the problem was that when we saw the trailer, we expected a fantasy. As you can see from this trailer:

But what we got was reality. Neither of my daughters had read the book or had even heard of it. We only had the clip to guide us in what we were about to see and I think that the marketers aren't marketing this movie properly because the movie is more than what is presented in the trailer. It's more than a fantasy, it's a story about how valuable imagination is in the life of a child and how friendship can overcome many obstacles in our lives. The strength of this movie doesn't lie in fantasy but in reality. And even though the fantasy is wonderful and visually appealing, the movie is more interesting when it deals with the lives of the main characters.

It's the story of Jess, a middle-schooler, the only son in a household of girls. His parents are struggling to make ends meet, so there is much tension in the house over money. His father is distant to him and seems to save all his affection for Jess' younger sister. You really feel bad for the kid seeing how he yearns for affection but doesn't receive it.

Until he meets the new girl in school, Leslie, who turns out to be his neighbor. She immediately befriends him and they are a perfect match. She is a writer, who has the ability and imagination to use descriptive language to describe scenes that only exist in her head and he is an artist, able to draw what he can only imagine. Together they create a world in which all the cares of middle school and their home lives vanish and they can be conquerors in their fantasy life while they are being conquered in real life.

What made this movie so good was how their fantasy world enable them to gain the confidence to handle the bullies and their home situations. To use their imagine to come up with creative ways to cope with life's problems.

I think the movie has a great lesson for kids about the importance of imagination and friendship and helps kids to understand that those who are mean may have the same struggles they do.

What I loved the most about this movie was that wasn't a typical kid's movie. It's not plastic or sappy. It's not pat, with a standard ending. It was totally unexpected and I never knew what was going to happen next. I highly recommend it but warn your kids, it's not just about fantasy, it's about reality.


  1. IRENE said...
    This is a very important message, as society and schools as part and image of it, become more and more aggressive and senseless.We need to teach our children ways to cope.
    I think you did well to go and see the film together. Whenever my daughters do not want to watch a film or read a book I want them to, I try to put them at ease, distracting their attention from what they do not like, occasionally sympathising with them, if, for example, a film is too slow to develop the story, or the actors are not the best possible.
    I try to remind myself that we are not their friends or cheerleaders, but we leaders and guides with God's grace.
    michele said...
    Sarah actually wanted to see the movie because she thought it was a fantasy, she was really disappointed in it.
    Laurel Wreath said...
    Thanks for the review. My middle son is reading it in his class and we are going to go see it here soon because he gets extra credit for it.
    crickl's nest said...
    Thanks for the review Michele! I was thinking it was more of a kids movie, but now I want to see it.
    Rachelle said...
    Thanks for the review! My girls (7&9) really want to see it and I wasn't looking forward to it because I thought it was mostly fantasy, which isn't my cup of tea. Maybe we'll all like it! (I'd really be interested in talking to your 14-yr-old about why she didn't like it!)
    Little Miss Moi said...
    Dear michele. I have read the book - it's one of my favourites. It was a compulsory read for me at school, and I recently bought it at a second hand book seller. I didn't know there was a movie; I'm very keen to see it!

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