Film Review: Wendy

the children in a boat

Very few children actively want to grow up. That may change during puberty but until then an eternal childhood seems like a utopian dream. In the early twentieth century Scottish novelist J. M. Barrie created the character Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up. Readers were introduced to the magic world of Netherland, pirates, fairies and a host of exciting adventures. Wendy is one of the most unusual film adaptations.

Wendy Darling (Devin France) and her twin brothers James (Gavin Naquin) and Douglas (Gage Naquin) hang out in the diner their mother (Shay Walker) works at, next to the railroad. A young girl with big dreams, scared that they will be forsaken when she grows up. One night, convinced that the passing train leads to exciting adventures, the children, with a help of a boy named Peter (Yashua Mack), flee and find themselves on a mysterious island where time works differently.

Wendy is a frustrating film which is full of good intentions but is marred by sloppy execution. Benh Zeitlin’s follow-up to Beasts of the Southern Wild suffers from many of the same issues. Don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful moments and really clever ideas here but they tend to get bogged down in a story which is more confused that coherent. The young cast of Wendy are likable enough but for all the promises of something special it falls a little flat.

Wendy will be released in UK and Irish cinemas on 13 August.

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