Come Away was not the magical journey I was hoping for. It was long, weird, and sometimes confusing. Unfortunately not saved by its beauty.
On paper Come Away sounds like a wonderfully beautiful film, but unfortunately it falls flat in many different places. Not only did it take two classic children’s fairytales and combine them while muddling them up, it is slow, boring, and very dark. What seems like a movie for kids is most definitely more adult in nature — but that doesn’t mean adults will enjoy it either.
Come Away is about Peter Pan and his sister Alice. Their are some dark events that happen in their lives and in order to cope they use their imaginations to create adventures of Neverland and Wonderland. Or perhaps it was all real — the movie never really tells us for sure, which is part of the downfall of Come Away.
Very Slow Start
This movie is very slow right from the beginning. It eventually picks up, only to lull again. Repeat. Unfortunately every time I felt like I could be sucked into the movie, it would slow back down and I would find myself bored.
Moments of this film are stunning, but unfortunately they are pushed to the side by the dark scenes, a lot of detailed dialogue, and the slow nature of the plot. There are pockets of action but not nearly enough to hold most people’s attention.
Beautiful Costuming & Props
The best part about Come Away is the costuming, props, and some of the scenery. There are several shots that I thought to myself WOW, this movie is beautiful. When the imagination worlds come through, the costuming is breathtaking. The Red and White Queen, the rabbit hole, and the sleep dust, are just a few of the breathtaking moments. However, there is not enough of this to make up for a dull of a movie.
I have seen some people say that this movie lost them in the end, for me it was the opposite. The ending was my favorite part because of the magic and wonder about it, however, it was not enough to save the first hour plus of the film for me.
Changing Of Two Classic Stories
Part of what makes Come Away so confusing is that it takes two classic fairytales, Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland, and mashes them together. Peter and Alice are siblings, which is weird enough if you think about it, and they both embrace their imaginations. Alice hosts many tea parties with her toys that include the white rabbit, twin dolls that are clearly Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and a few other recognizable characters.
As the story goes on they show the children’s mother and sister as the Red Queen and the White Queen (I won’t spoil who is who) which was hinted at earlier as the two played chess. Other characters they meet along the way are the Mad Hatter and Captain Hook — both were very obvious to me from the beginning, and I knew before the “big reveal“.
Is Come Away OK For Kids?
Come Away seems like it was made for kids, but after viewing it, it doesn’t feel like that at all. Yes it takes from the classic fairytales of Peter Pan and Alice In Wonderland but amidst the glimpses of imagination and wonder is a lot of slow and boring dialogue. I cannot imagine either of my children sitting through Come Away without squirming around and getting bored.
If you have a child who is sensitive to death, this is not a great choice for a movie. Early on one of the siblings dies and it is a very dramatic scene. Later we see a photo of him in his coffin. Violence is a common theme in Come Away as the kids pretend to be battling pirates, but that isn’t the only time we see it. Someone is branded with a hot poker on their hand and someone else loses a hand. The mother slaps her across the face child as well for speaking out.
The father has a gambling problem and although they don’t say it in so many words, a temper problem as well. There is also a moment in this movie where the young girl, Alice, drinks alcohol (although she is imagining it to be something else). I didn’t notice any bad language but admittedly that is not my strong suit. Language in movies does not bother me when it comes to letting my children watch it or not.
With leads like Angelina Jolie and David Oyelowo, I expected an incredible movie, but that isn’t what I got. Even the amazing performance from them, and the two main children (Keira Chansa & Jordan A. Nash) couldn’t save Come Away from itself. The movie is too slow and boring with just pockets of action. Come Away clocks in at only an hour and half but it felt much longer, and that says something.
At the end? I was left confused. Was any of this real? Was it just a dream or a story? Something Alice made up to make her childhood easier on her? I still can’t get over her drinking her mother’s hidden booze stash if I am being honest.
Come Away had all the potential in the world on paper, but it doesn’t seem to find its place with children or adults. If you are looking for a magical film to take you away from the world for a bit, choose Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey instead.
About Come Away
In this imaginative origin story of two of the most beloved characters in literature – Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland – eight-year-old Alice (Keira Chansa), her mischievous brother Peter (Jordan A. Nash) and their brilliant older sibling David (Reece Yates) let their imaginations run wild one blissful summer in the English countryside.
Encouraged by their parents Jack and Rose (David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie), the kids’ make-believe tea parties, sword fights and pirate ship adventures come to an abrupt end when tragedy strikes. Peter, eager to prove himself a hero to his grief-stricken and financially-struggling parents, journeys with Alice to London, where they try to sell a treasured heirloom to the sinister pawnshop owner known as C.J. (David Gyasi).
Returning home, Alice seeks temporary refuge in a wondrous rabbit hole while Peter permanently escapes reality by entering a magical realm as leader of the “Lost Boys.”
Come Away – In Theaters and At Home On Demand
on November 13th!