Bridge to Terabithia (2007) IMDb

Extent

Seen in 2017.

Categorization

Children’s drama using secondary-world fantasy motifs as open metaphors.

Commentary

A lot of wasted potential, not primarily in the awful effects work but in the poor tonal control. The shift to darker themes comes past the halfway point, after too much shallow melodrama about the prettiest, most humble, most talented kids in a class. Their lack of friends and constant victimization are unexplained. Leslie’s death doesn’t get the appropriate emotional weight. In particular, the father—finely played by Robert Patrick—admits that the event “makes no sense”, but simultaneously contradicts dysteleology and neuters the rare criticism of Christianity by asserting that Leslie will go to heaven. This blind assertion, and Jess handily building the literal bridge to a professional standard, make for a trite conclusion. There may be something worthwhile in the idea of toying with Narnia tropes (Terabinthia) without even approaching the Todorovian uncanny, but it doesn’t work here. Bailee Madison is surprisingly good as little May Belle.

References here: The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008).

fiction moving picture