“So on the one hand Christopher Robin wants to be a movie about a London executive caught up in his work when he should be playing with his daughter in the country, reliving the magic of his childhood days; but on the other hand, it’s saddled him with a genuinely noble mission.
I’m reminded of a thoughtful line in P.J. Hogan’s flawed but interesting 2003 take on Peter Pan, in which the much ridiculed figure of Mr. Darling gets a remarkably sympathetic tribute from his wife.
Mary Darling tells her daughter Wendy that her father is a brave man. Since this version of George Darling is a rather milquetoast figure much put upon by his co-workers, this requires some explanation, so Mary continues:
“There are many different kinds of bravery. There’s the bravery of thinking of others before oneself. Now, your father has never brandished a sword nor fired a pistol, thank heavens. But he’s made many sacrifices for his family and put away many dreams.”
Continuing in a poignant, poetic mode that almost sounds like A.A. Milne, but much more like J.M. Barrie, Mrs. Darling adds that he put his dreams away “in a drawer. And sometimes, late at night, we take them out and admire them. But it gets harder and harder to close the drawer. He does. And that is why he is brave.”
That is an actual idea, one with real poignancy, about adulthood and fatherhood and loss — something lacking in Christopher Robin. Actual ideas, I mean.”
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