“The lackluster quality of the film, however, is in no way the fault of the actors.”
“What made it so sad was the ability to see the potential of what the film could have been given the original story and phenomenal cast.”
Adapting a beloved book for film is always a risky undertaking. Certain aspects have an appeal on the page but are difficult to translate on screen. “Winter’s Tale” fell victim to this classic dilemma.
The movie jumps around from the 1890’s to 1915 to present day in a jumbled-up manor that makes it quite difficult for the audience to be sure exactly who or what to focus on.
The movie begins with a thief, Peter Lake, played by Colin Farrell (“Total Recall”) on the run from his previous boss named Pearly Soames, played by Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”). Peter is out of places to run when he turns a corner to find a white horse conveniently waiting for him.
The horse then pretty much turns into Pegasus and flies over a fence to help Peter escape, which was probably meant to look like a great special effect. Instead, it just looked like glittery fairy wings that for some reason went straight through Peter’s leg.
Peter then decides to skip town, but stops to rob a mansion first where he meets Beverly Pinn played by Jessica Brown Findlay (“Downton Abbey”), a stunning redhead dying from consumption, a form of tuberculosis. They share a pot of tea where Peter agrees not to rob her and instead they fall in love.
Peter becomes convinced that he can somehow save Beverly if he loves her enough. He goes with her and her family to their winter home, which Pearly is prevented from going to by magic.
This movie leaves a lot of open ends and unexplained events. For example, all we know is that something about Peter loving Beverly is one of the worst possible things that could happen to the demon world to which Pearly belongs.
“Winter’s Tale” never really says why Peter and Beverly are so important or why Pearly hates Peter to the level that he does. The entire movie focuses on Peter and his journey like he has some divine purpose and then ends with a cheesy narration about how we are all equally special. If that was the case why was one of the oldest demons (Pearly) on a 100-year journey to stop this one man?
It was obvious that the idea and basis for the story was original and meaningful. But something was lost in execution while making this film. There was just too much trying to be done and because of this, ideas were unfinished and not fully explained.
The lack luster quality of the film, however, is in no way the fault of the actors.
The only redeeming quality of “Winter’s Tale” was the beautiful and pure love affair between Peter and Beverly. It was the only consistent storyline and Farrell and Findlay gave raw, honest performances.
Their relationship was so sincere and filled with love and pain in a heart-wrenching mixture. It was this emotional tone that made the sex scene about something more than sex. There is a beautiful connection between the two underlined with sadness due to Beverly’s fading health.
Although Farrell and Findlay gave their all to these characters, “Winter’s Tale” was rather disappointing. What made it so sad was the ability to see the potential of what the film could have been given the original story and phenomenal cast.