“He moved like a dancer, which is not surprising; a horse is a beautiful animal, but it is perhaps most remarkable because it moves as if it always hears music.”To those who have read the book:
― Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale
Characters not appearing in the film include Jackson Mead, Virginia's son Mark, and both Vittorio and Hardesty Marratta.Here's my take on the movie:
I'm not really a movie critic and if I have nothing good to say, then I would not write anything about it. Even if I don't like the message of the movie, like let's say, THE COUNSELOR, I would not write about it if I didn't see a single iota of brilliance.
A few minutes into the film I was seeing signs of Scientology, New Age, et cetera. Anyways, don't worry, I would not dwell into that. Religious beliefs aside, this is a good movie, with some goofs(like the 1915 missing person poster, when it should have been 1916) and how could "Little Willa" still be working when she was supposed to be more than a hundred years old in 2014. Another thing, even if Peter could not remember who he is, how did he make a living? Yes, there are things you can't explain in this world, but he seemed to have lots of clothes, and even if his hair grew long and a beard was formed, he looked very, very clean.
Yes, it's hard to put every detail of the book into a full length feature film of a little more than two hours, but there were important scenes that should not have been touched like Peter Lake and Athansor(Horse) disappearing into a cloud wall and so much more.
Athansor from WikepediaAthansor, the white horse, acts as a guardian angel of Peter Lake. Able to fly and possessing extraordinary endurance, the white horse appears to be an angelic being. Before the end, Peter Lake releases him to finally let him go to heaven, as Athansor had not been able to do before because of Peter Lake.The white horse appears on the first pages of the book, saving Peter Lake who is being pursued by the Short Tails. The name of the horse is unknown to Peter Lake, but when Peter Lake visits Bayonne Marsh, the Baymen recognise the horse as Athansor, part of their oral lore. The Baymen arrive from everywhere to view the horse, but never explain what they know about him besides the name and the fact that he comes from the left.Athansor is separated from Peter Lake when they both crash into the cloud wall but gets reunited with him towards the end of the story. Peter Lake releases him, and Athansor heads towards the heavenly pastures. As he gallops across Manhattan, trying to lift off, the whole island shakes under his hoofbeats.
Oh, Will Smith's role was not in the book:
Maybe, just maybe this was why Martin Scorsese did not push through with his plans of making Mark Helprin's book into a movie and declared it, unfilmable(sic). Perhaps he thought he would not do justice to it.
The movie was visually pleasing, and I'm not one to be influenced by critics. There are lots of movies that were lambasted by critics, but were enjoyed by me, but I think most of them are right.
Even if a movie is a fantasy, it should make the audience believe that the events could happen. Unfortunately, this movie did not deliver.
The children (Abby and Little Willa) were brilliant and probably the saving graces. Colin Farrell was not bad and somehow, Russel Crowe as Pearly Soames, managed to scare me a bit. Jessica Brown-Findlay is very beautiful and for her movie debut, she did well.
Should people still watch this?
Yes, why not? Just don't think too hard when you do, because if you do, you would probably be disappointed.
From Rotten Tomatoes:
“Justice can sleep for years and awaken when it is least expected. A miracle is nothing more than dormant justice from another time arriving to compensate those it has cruelly abandoned. Whoever knows this is willing to suffer, for he knows that nothing is in vain.”
― Mark Helprin, Winter's Tale