Christopher Robin

  • 08 Sep - 14 Sep, 2018
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

I never really sat down and watched a lot of Winnie the Pooh (WP) in my childhood, but whatever I had seen had been calm, convivial and sweet – minus the honey that Pooh indulges in. Thankfully these very emotions are emoted in Disney’s Christopher Robin (CR), which makes the adult me visit this childhood staple that was once popular around the world.

Set in a Mary Poppins-like world, where everything is normal till the governess comes floating by an umbrella, in CR, everything is happy-go-lucky, till the teddy bear starts speaking in what is a mix of wisdom and nonsense.

The film starts off with a farewell tea party for Christopher, a boy being sent off to a boarding school. With kind and sweet promises of remembering each other, Christopher goes off to the real world with a montage of drawings resembling E. H. Shepard-artwork from the original WP books that were authored by A. A. Milne.

In the following montage, Christopher grows into a man (Ewan McGregor), gets married (his wife is played by Hayley Atwell), goes to war and returns as a man estranged from everything – his wife, daughter (Bronte Carmichael), fun and even the memory of his furry stuffed animal friends.

On one morning, Christopher is faced with a work deadline. He has to choose between work and family, and he chooses work as he has habitually done in the past. Not being able to find balance in life, Christopher looks lost, so comes in Pooh to sort his way.

There is much to like and love in CR, even when the story sticks to formulaic clichés. Clichés, though, are drowned in emotional interactions and the innocence of Pooh and the rest of the animals of Hundred Acre Wood. The feeling makes you content, you even know you’re heading for a predictable end.

Director Marc Forster brings empathy for childhood and innocence lost, making the film feel more grounded yet with a dream-like aura.

The world of CGI has come to the point where one wonders: “How real can it look?”

In the recent past, Planet of the Apes movies blew us away with thier its realistic effects, and here the details and the realism makes me want to clean my stuffed animals for better hygiene. One quickly forgets that they are looking at computer generated imagery.

CR is a wonderful film for the kids (and those of us who were formerly kids). There are many words for the wise and strong whiffs of childhood nostalgia that might hit harder than one expects. •