WINTER'S TALE DVD (2014)
SYNOPSIS: Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “Winter’s Tale” is about miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil. Peter Lake (Farrell) is a master thief, who never expected to have his own heart stolen by the beautiful Beverly Penn (Brown Findlay). But their love is star-crossed: she burns with a deadly form of consumption, and Peter has been marked for a much more violent death by his one-time mentor, the demonic Pearly Soames (Crowe). Peter desperately tries to save his one true love, across time, against the forces of darkness, even as Pearly does everything in his power to take him down—winner take all and loser be damned. What Peter needs is a miracle, but only time will tell if he can find one.
Winter’s Tale marketed as a time-travelling romance is far more interesting when you actually sit down and watch it. Apparently, the trailer forgot to showcase its themes of angels, demons and miracle to the unsuspecting audience unless you read the book by Mark Helprin.
Akiva Goldsman, self-proclaimed die-hard romantic, writer of Batman Forever, I Am Legend and A Beautiful Mind and Producer of many other hits and misses wrote, produced and direct this fantasy tale about love and magic.
Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), a small-time thief in New York met and fell in love with a rich dying heiress Beverly Penn (English actress Jessica Brown Findlay) during one of his shady outings. While she is not expected to live for another year, Lake is determined to take their relationship further. At the same time, he is wanted by his ex-mentor, sinister underworld figure Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe). With a lingering message about how everyone is born with a miracle, Lake believes he is the one destined to save the sick Beverly.
Your imagination and level of acceptance is severely tested once a flying white horse appears on the street in early 1920’s New York. Somehow without much explanation, this flying pony is tie to the fate of Lake and always trusts the horse to arrive in time to rescue his master from the hands of the evil Pearly. Perhaps the source material has much more to offer considering Pearly is some sort of demon and he reports frequently to his superior, Lucifer also known as Judge. And for that matter, an uncredited Will Smith plays Lucifer. It’s a pity nevertheless. Goldsman probably stripped off the less attractive aspects of the novel and concentrates his tale of an ordinary man made immortal by love.
Despite the somehow shoddy storytelling, Colin Farrell and Russell Crowe are at their very best serving out what is good versus evil. Farrell putting on a complex, layered performance as Lake while Crowe taking on another yet another dark character after Les Miserables is effortless. Jessica Brown Findlay and Jennifer Connelly (who appears in a small role in modern day New York) adds icing on the cake. Cinematographer Caleb Deschanel’s lensing is a beauty to behold and Rupert Gregson-Williams with his one-time mentor Hans Zimmer contribute an easy on the ears, piano heavy melody.
In the end, Winter’s Tale is a tale that touches plenty of themes such as religion, whimsical elements and romance but owing to Goldsman’s flimsy treatment, the end results turned out to be unsatisfying and unremarkable. Maybe Martin Scorsese is right to deem it as unfilmable after all.
Winter's Tale: A Timeless Love is a 6 minutes feature in which the various key cast members and crew discuss the theme and making of the movie.
Visual is wonderful with rich details and colours. As a dialogue intensive movie, the Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack provides a fairly interesting listening experience. The bass and sound effects come through better during the action sequences.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee