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I’m going to talk about «Hook», a film directed by Spielberg in 1991. The director hasn’t based his film on a novel, or better, he wanted to brush up Barrie’s novel and propose the story of Peter Pan again: in fact he liked very much the Disney movie and he wanted to repropose it in a modern version. In my opinion this film is something like a sequel of the Disney film. In fact it’s the story of Peter Banning, a lawyer in his forties, played by Robin Williams, that is Peter Pan but he doesn’t remember this because he felt in love with Moira, Wendy’s granddaughter, and he didn’t come back to Never Land and he married her.
The movie opens in the U.S.A., where the Bannings live: Peter is a lawyer, he’s very busy and he isn’t able to devote himself to his wife, Moira, and his children, Maggie and Jack, that are constantly being neglected or pushed aside. During the holidays they fly to London to visit Granny Wendy, Moira’s grandmother and the woman who brought up Peter, and to take part of a children hospital inauguration. But during this event his children are kidnapped by Captain Hook, played by Dustin Hoffman, and taken on Never Land. So, helped by Tinkerbell, played by Julia Roberts, Peter goes to the isle, but there he has some problems because he doesn’t remember he is Peter Pan, so he isn’t able to fly and imagine things. But he must save his children, so Tinkerbell comes to an agreement with Hook that she will train Peter over three days, after which Hook will have the war he craves. So he is trained by the Lost Boys until he is able to use his imagination and play with them. During the dinner of the first day Peter has an argue with Rufio, the leader of the Lost Boys: Peter wins and at the end of it he wants and imagines to throw a spoonful of soup, I think, against Rufio, and it is realized. So from that time he becomes again Peter Pan and he has a lot of fun with the Lost Boys. Then he has to learn how to fly but Peter has trouble with this last requirement because he can’t think of one happy thought. He tries and tries, but he isn’t able. Finally he sees the tree house where Wendy and her brothers once lived and remembers Wendy, her granddaughter Moira and the real reason he didn’t return to Never Land: he wanted to be a father. So he flies. In the meanwhile Jack and Maggie are on Captain Hook ship and he tries to convince them to abandon their father and join the Jolly Roger crew: Maggie doesn’t trust him, but Jack is more malleable because he thinks his father doesn’t care for him. Then Hook uses Jack’s love of baseball to win his affections and the child loves him as his real father. The following morning Peter arrives, ready to fight in the promised war. During the fighting Peter manages to save Maggie, and Rufio starts up a duel against Captain Hook. After getting Maggie to safety, Peter returns to the Jolly Roger just to see Hook run Rufio right through the heart. The dying Rufio tells Peter that his one wish was that he had a father like him. Jack witnesses this and finally remembers how much he loves his father, and says that he wants to go home. Peter picks up his son and flies to Maggie and the Lost Boys, but Hook wants to fight against Peter. So he flies to his longtime enemy and starts the final duel with Captain Hook. The duel finally ends when the crocodile tower, that is in the centre of the pirates’ village, seems to come back to life and swallows Hook. The film finishes when Peter and his children come back to Moira and Wendy and he wins back his family’s affection.
The message the film wants to transmit us is very clear: everyone has to learn how to be a child, because in each of us there is always a child. In fact even a very busy and successful lawyer, that doesn’t remember he had been a child, has become Peter Pan. The film shows how this lawyer finds his real world, using his imagination, the world of his childhood, that he totally forgot growing up. Growing up, the character became as any other adult worried only about his job and his personal success. He forgot how wonderful was been free from every concern and just have fun with friends. In my opinion also Peter’s surname has got a meaning: “ban” means “forbid”, and he doesn’t allow his children to have fun and behave as children.
I liked very much this film, even if all the critics are against it because they say the film is not well made and it is a completely confusion of actors, scenes and special effects. Above all I liked the Lost Boys village: it seems a forest with a lot of secret passages. Moreover I liked Robin Williams: in my opinion he is a really great actor because he enters his characters. In this film he really seemed Peter Pan, as in other movies he really seems the character he plays. In my opinion, however, all his films have a sort of sadness. I mean, most of them are comedies and so they’re expected to be quite superficial, but underneath there is always an important message. And I like him because of this. The scene I liked most is the dinner of the first day, when Peter fight against Rufio using words: he is very happy when he finally wins, and he says that he won because he is a lawyer, so he is able to fight orally against people. But his greatest achievement was when he threw the soup against Rufio, because this symbolize that he is really become Peter Pan again. Besides this is a turning point of the story, because from that moment he starts a sort of new life. In my opinion all the adventures in Never Land are turning points in Peter Banning’s life, because they change his way of looking at things.