'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' - Movie Review

Updated: 20 October, 2016 10:10 IST | Johnson Thomas |

Scriptwriter Jane Goldman rejigs the YA novel written by Ransom Riggs' and going by the same name, fashions it into a weird fantasy that could well work as the origin story for several successful sci-fi entertainers of the recent past (most notably 'X-Men', 'Harry Potter' etc)

'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' - Movie Review

'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children'
U/A; Adventure, Drama, Family
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Eva Green, Samuel L. Jackson, Judi Dench, Chris O'Dowd, Terence Stamp, Finlay MacMillan, Lauren McCrostie
Director: Tim Burton
Rating: 

Scriptwriter Jane Goldman rejigs the YA novel written by Ransom Riggs' and going by the same name, fashions it into a weird fantasy that could well work as the origin story for several successful sci-fi entertainers of the recent past (most notably 'X-Men', 'Harry Potter' etc). In this visual effects happy effort 'Mary Poppins' meets 'X-Men' meets Tim Burton, and it's not quite the winning combination we expected. It's bizarre, wild, fantastic in turns but there's nothing consistent that we can hold on to. The story is about a young boy Jake (Asa Butterfield) who stumbles upon an orphanage where there are beings with extraordinary gifts. He meets Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) who invites him to be a part of the family.

When an incident befalls his grandfather, it leads Jake to visit Wales, the location of the orphanage from his grandfather stories. Miss Peregrine explains to Jake that she is a ymbrynes, a peculiar that can create time loops meant for safety from the monsters, hollowgasts that hunt down peculiar children for their eyes- but it also means that they're stuck in a certain day of a certain year.

Watch the trailer of 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children'

This is not exactly a harmless fairy tale as Tim Burton recreates it. It's probably scary for young kids and has a theme that plays around with fear and doom in order to make the end result more fantastical. Ransom Rigg's novel had photographs working as a guide to the story and in the film Burton employs the same tactic to set up context. But thereafter it's different. The darkness is glorified, the hollowgasts look ugly enough to be scary and the peculiar powers that the kids have take on perplexing leanings. Burton's films have always had dark forebodings dooming it's characters before they escape into the light and this film is no different. Unfortunately, the courage and unique strengths on display here appear to be little more than gimmicks meant to entice an audience already overfed by popular sci-fi action cinema culture. Unfortunately the treatment here doesn't work up as much lather as 'Beetlejuice' or even 'Edward Scissorhands' did. That's probably because we've seen all this before and it's no longer original, unique or enchanting even with the master at the helm. The tempo is little more than snail's pace and the visual enticement doesn't quite lend it's wings to a narrative that wallows in a marginal fantasia that's impressive but not quite enticing!

First Published: 07 October, 2016 15:03 IST

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