Sunday, 9 October 2016

'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' Review by Naadir Joseph

Catch It On CableA children's story filled with peculiar sequences and a few enjoyable moments.
Cue the long credits at the start of the film and then the movie directed by Tim Burton truly begins. ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children,’ is a movie based on the novel by Ransom Riggs of the same name. Now, I have the odd issue with the way people judge movies based on literature and I feel that it should first and foremost be judged as a film. Also, I have not read the books, so it is also the only way I can judge the movie.

It tells the story of children born with weird powers that live in a home existing within a time loop. The home is headed by ‘Miss Peregrine’ played by Eva Green who delivers a performance much like her other characters in recent years with a more whimsical nature. Essentially, it is the ‘X-Men’ with a female ‘Professor X’ and less children.

Asa Butterfield’s character, ‘Jake,’ is led into this world as a child by his grandfather played by Terence Stamp. You follow his journey and learn how the children have been hunted by a man who believes that they shouldn’t hide in the shadows the way they do. ‘Barron’ is the man’s name played by Samuel L. Jackson and he leads a group that hunts the children in order to eat their eyes and regain their human form after an experiment which he had done to himself and his comrades went terribly wrong.

When I watched the movie, a few things I found quite annoying, especially the father of ‘Jake’ played by Chris O’Dowd. He would probably be given the most neglectful dad award for not listening to his son or actually not trying to be a father. I found the villain's objective quite clear, and his obstacles were only there because he chose for it to be there.

The idea of living in a time loop was great. Firstly, you live in a loop of time which is reset by the head of that household. So, you would think that it’s a bubble of time that they live in, but in fact, it is more like a time gate that you jump back in time and can still alter time – this is a unique thing they leave until the end so there’s a way for it to have a happy ending instead of a realistic ending that would have still sufficed. With this idea, one would probably think why not just go back in time with an existing time loop to kill Barron earlier and avoid other deaths, but I guess none of them thought of that.

All in all, the film I found was quite enjoyable with inconsistencies that annoyed me as I thought about it after, but it is your typical children’s movie that they would enjoy, and would teach them that no matter how peculiar you are, there’s always a place for you. I find it difficult to think another director would have made this strange movie, as it would have maybe been darker or more comedic. I feel that this movie is a normal Tim Burton movie and I’m not the biggest Tim Burton fan.

It doesn’t do any grand new things, the visuals are strange in Tim Burton fashion and you somehow find a small part of yourself enjoying it regardless of the devices used just for plot. You get a weird movie with some bits of flat acting and no real emotion or conflict, but it creeps into you just a little.

Rating: Catch It On Cable.