This is not a true story: This is metaphysics + romance

Winter's Tale
Genre: Fantasy, Supernatural Romance, Drama, Book-to-Film
Director: Akiva Goldsman
Year: 2013

We were cushioned comfortably on our seats when Winter’s Tale rolled out after the lengthy roster of trailers. Shortly after, I found myself regretting why we even chose it. First, I’m not really a fan of gang films and it initially gave that impression. Second, you just got to cringe at the first time you encounter the flying horse + the lights show. And third, Colin Farrell’s hair was annoying – that I thought I didn’t want to see him for the whole duration.

With these initial qualms, I thought the film was too corny to be even given attention. I entertained the thought of not finishing it but then I knew I would be seated straight through the end simply because wasting money is evil (even if it was to avoid a waste of time). And now, I’m just glad I had stayed because the film turned out to be something else.

Meet Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay); the house burglar and the girl dying of tuberculosis.

In Winter’s Tale, Peter and Beverly’s attraction is of the clichéd “rich girl-poor man” classic. But as I saw Beverly Penn, as I watched her basking in the ethereal patterns that she believes in, I got absorbed into her character without having read the book.

Basically, the conflict (be very surprised), is that of light against darkness. It is about miracles creating its way to be realized while another party constantly attempts to stop it and immobilize its source.

“We are all connected. Everybody carries a miracle inside, and that purpose is promised to one person and one person alone.”

To summarize, the atmosphere of the film is light – it started as funny & romantic until you just want to ask everyone in the cinema if things really just happened because it suddenly galloped into a very sad turn of events. And I think that the sudden transition to “that tragic scene” is one of the turning points on why this film is ill-received.

I will not speak of that scene Beverly Penn. Even if you give me that expectant look.

Personally, I enjoyed the movie and it made me well up with tears and positive emotions better than the film counterpart of The Fault in Our Stars. But maybe Winter’s Tale only appealed to a slimmer market because its plot is strewn with a lot of abstractions and metaphysics. It is glitzy and ornate which could also be distracting.

But beyond that, I think the film has so much else that it is able to deliver. It tells of a concept of love that is entirely different from what we usually see in the big screen.

It tells us that sometimes, we exist not to be with that special someone, but simply to be of help to someone.

***

Beverly Penn: “What if we are all unique and what if the universe loves us all equally and it bends over backwards to help us all and we are just lucky enough once in a while to see it? What if we are a part of a greater pattern that we are incapable of knowing? What if when we are done with our purpose, we get to rise up and be with those we love? What if we get to become stars?”

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