It’s no secret that Warner Bros Studios has struggled since the end of Harry Potter (moment of silence please), and Pan hasn’t proved to help this problem. After costing around $250 million, it only scraped $15.5 million at the North American theatres. It’s been consistently criticised, receiving only 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and embarrassing 1 Star reviews, the main argument is that it doesn’t do the classic, beloved fairy tale justice.
Prior to the release (which has been pushed back a number of times) on 16th October, I got myself some popcorn, kicked back with an open mind and gave it a chance.
It was truly fantastical, in the extraordinary sense of the word. The visual effects were jaw dropping, the colours, scenes and the costume made for the big screen. From the grey, dull orphanage in which we first find our Peter, to the exotic Neverland with the tribes and mermaids where the story concludes, it was all very attractive to the eye. However, in some places there may have been perhaps too much going on which did slightly take away from the actual plot.
Hugh Jackman’s character Blackbeard, hairless and heartless, made me feel uncomfortable – so he did a good job as the villain. The other characters were lacking in something a little bit… There were some moments that could have been tear-jerking, but I just couldn’t really connect with the characters. My favourite scenes were those that involved the tribes, as the colour and costumes were phenomenal as being a make-up and fashion girl myself it was hard not to appreciate these visual effects. Rooney Mara made a beautiful Tiger Lily, despite the controversy in the media about her not matching the Native American ethnicity of the ‘classic’ Tiger Lily. Especially with the Suffragette movie (in cinemas now) making more waves of feminism, it was a good surprise to see and hear of such strong female characters – Pan’s mother was an inspirational Warrior and his father the Fairy Prince – I considered this a well-appreciated change to the more traditional gender roles you would find in other fairy-tales.
All in all, I can see where the other critics are coming from, but I can’t help feeling they’re quite harsh reviews. Honestly I think it’s worth a watch. It’s a really interesting interpretation of how it all began, and leaves you wondering what happens next that led to the story we all know and love.