PETER AN D WEN DY
Might just Hook you
released 21 March 2015 | PG | DVD/ download
Director Diarmuid Lawrence
Cast Stanley Tucci, Hazel Doupe,
Laura Fraser, Rasmus Hardiker
“Tinker Bell’s such a total bitch,” says one of the kids in this modern- day update of JM Barrie’s classic tale. It’s just one example of how the makers of this adaptation, which aired on ITV on Boxing Day, wanted it to feel as “now” as possible – alongside casting Paloma Faith as Tinker Bell, ensuring Peter Pan looks as though he’s auditioning for a teenage boyband, and having a character compare Captain Hook to Captain Jack Sparrow. The weird thing is... it actually works.
The film’s set inside Great Ormond Street Hospital – the organisation Barrie left the rights of his most famous book to – and the poorly children contained in one ward end up being the stars of a trip to Neverland, as Lucy ( Hazel Doupe), a girl about to have heart surgery, reads the book aloud to her fellow patients before taking on the role of Wendy in the story.
The kids aren’t bad actors, the dialogue flows naturally, the hospital setting is poignant, and the presence of Stanley Tucci as the bigwig surgeon about to save Lucy’s life adds star power. And then Tucci dons a real big wig to play Hook in the alternate version of the tale and boy, does he have fun. Which means we do, too.
Sure, it drags a little in the middle. Tiger Lily seems like an afterthought – although she always did. The music is so generic you can almost hum it before you hear it. And Peter himself isn’t that interesting. However, Doupe does a cracking job in both her roles – and the way the film blends a real- life modern hospital with Neverland is often ingenious. Pan might have had all the Hollywood bucks splashed on it, but Peter And Wendy has all the heart.
Extras A brief Making Of and “Learning To Fly” featurette ( 10 minutes). Jayne Nelson
Boy, does Stanley Tucci have fun as Hook
The first person to play the role of Peter Pan was actress Nina Boucicault, in a 1904 stage production. She was 37 at the time!
Trouble is, their favourite bar had a “no hats” policy.