The review of Slumberland – In the world of dreams: visual trips, (s)lost wishes and an irresistible stuffed pig in the film by Francis Lawrence. Starring Marlow Barkley and Jason Momoa. On Netflix.
Many, many have tried to translate the nightmare into cinematic matter. Someone else, on the other hand, has tried to translate the concept of dream, declined in the reflections of an imagination in which to take refuge when things don’t go the right way. Tim Burton comes to mind with Big Fishor more simply Beyond dreams with Robin Williams. Those were other years, streaming was not yet considered, nor was the algorithm considered. Or rather, there were theoretical canons to be respected, a thread on which to wrap the screenplay. However, the fact remains that the very metaphor of the dream, which exponentially broadens the conception of our knowledge whenever we rely on the subconscious, is at the basis of cinema itself. For this reason, while stumbling into various distortions, we immediately say in our review that Slumberland – In the world of dreams it is a passionate, engaging, funny and necessarily moving film.
Licensed Netflix and directed by the director of the saga of Hunger Games Francis Lawrence, the film is (very) loosely based on Little NemoSunday comic strips signed by Winsor McCay, published in the historian New York Herald between 1905 and 1911. Practically at the dawn of comics. The reference for McCay was clear enough: Lewis Carroll e Alice in Wonderland. It goes without saying that the wild, imaginative and dreamlike atmosphere is the main element of the film, while Lawrence revises the original idea flipping the gender of Nemo, from boy to girl. The first point of difference, but that explains how much Slumberland is the manifesto of a new way of making cinema and telling stories. Inclusivity (with citation to the blaxploitation!), a good casting job and an audience that is as heterogeneous as possible. Ingredients poured into the Netflix film, which in two hours (yes, that’s a bit too much) surprisingly manages to make us smile and excite us, recommending the vision to the youngest and the oldest. In short, it will be the charisma of Jason Momoait will be that today more than ever we need to dream, and it will be that the soft cloth pig made us melt, but Slumberland It’s a film you can’t help but love.
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Traveling with Nemo
And we love him starting with the story written by David Guion and Michael Handelman: little Nemo (Marlow Barkley) struggles to deal with a new life after her father Peter (Kyle Chandler) is lost at sea. She moves house (from a lighthouse lost in the ocean to Los Angeles), she changes school and, although Uncle Phillip (Chris O’Dowd) is well prepared, she can’t find her right serenity. At night, however, in the company of her inseparable pig (on which the director often indulges, without ever losing sight of him), she follows the absurd and secret map that will lead her into a sort of huge daydream.
A sparkling and colorful dream, just like those dreams that change suddenly, modifying faces, places, sensations. Those dreams where strange things happen. In this universe, Nemo meets a stinking and scoundrel satyr, Flip (Jason Momoa). The two – or rather the three, as the piglet comes to life! – embark on one of those cathartic journeys full of adventures and exciting challenges, trying to escape the darkness and nightmares and, above all, trying to escape that outside world that tries to do damage. At the end of the journey, a very precious treasure: the possibility of seeing that father Peter who, coincidentally, told her the fairy tales of Slumberland.
Slumberland: in a clip of the film Jason Momoa explains the rules of the world of dreams
Power to the imagination
In a sense, the work of Francis Lawrence, built on the legacies of streaming (especially in the second part), is a film about legacy. Sure, there’s the grieving process, there’s the catharsis of the journey, there’s the power of the dream and there’s the predisposition to goodness, but it’s the legacy that ignites the story. Nemo’s with his dad Peter, and Peter’s with the world of Slumberland. There is a sort of pact between them that will only be revealed at the end, and like any self-respecting pact there are rules to be fixed. An interesting oxymoron, given that the concept of dream rejects any type of rule. In this sense, the visual trips are remarkable (the sequence with the butterflies is an example) setting the tone and alternating the moods of Nemo, who ended up in a Wonderland that offers refuge to those looking for something different.
With conscience, craft and vision, the director who had already had to deal with unreal universes (Lawrence is also the director of I’m legend), gives as much space to the emotional dynamics as to the symbolic legacy behind the imagination, without losing sight of entr’actes and action. That imagination that becomes the engine of an honest and accurate film that emphasizes the need to move forward, despite the difficulties of a past that tends to keep us awake at night. In the folds of sleep, resting the head on the pillow, an emblematic bifurcation opens up: accept the nightmares or try to reach the land of dreams? Here, updating a page of the great American comic tradition (while extrapolating its classicism in a staging full of visual effects), Slumberland – In the world of dreams pushes us to cultivate (and preserve) the imagination, so essential for children as for adults. Indeed, a film to love.
Visual flashes, a great cast, the boundless power of the imagination. Summarizing the review of Slumberland – Nel Mondo dei Sogni, we underline how suitable the film is for a really wide audience, honestly alternating both smiles and emotion. Despite the perhaps excessive duration. Honorable mention to the stuffed pig, capable of attracting attention.
Because we like it
- The casting job.
- The bewildered, colorful, dreamlike atmosphere.
- The stuffed pig.
- The message, trickle down to a heterogeneous audience.