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Bridge To Terabithia (2007)

July 24th, 2007 by Maxim · 2 Comments · 7,994 Views


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Warning: this is Disney. This is a good sweet movie, but it’s a fairy tale for kids.

The plot: a 10-year old boy Jess from a poor family wants to be the fastest runner in his class, but he is outran by a new girl, Leslie, in Jess’ school, although the race was called a “boys only” race by their classmates. Not a good way to start a friendship. But they both have a lot of things in common: he is into drawing and she is very good at writing; both are tormented by bullies from the 8th grade. Together they venture into the near-by forest where they discover a swing-rope over a small river and an abandoned tree-house. There they create an imaginary world they can escape to from hard reality, where all the creatures they have to face are based on their tormentors in school. They also find a clever way to get back at bullies, but they find out that it only brought a short-lived satisfaction. They realize they are becoming bullies themselves. But eventually reality sets in. Jess’ arts teacher has noticed his interest for drawing and invites him on the field trip to a museum. Jess merely looks at Leslie’s home as they drive by. When he comes back he find his parents very worried and finds out that Leslie had went to the forest and when she attempted to swing over the rain-swollen river the rope broke, Leslie hit her head over a rock, which knocked her out, and drowned. Jess is grieving. He and his parents attend the funeral. Jess feels guilty. The grief and guilt bring him closer with his father. He re-imagines Terabithia, builds a bridge over the river with his own hands and invites his little sister to share his world of dreams as the rulers of the free people of Terabithia.

There are a few similarities with other movies. For example, the kids get to Terabithia by the swing-rope; in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” kids used the closet as a portal.

Very good acting. I think the children have great future in acting. Well, Josh Hutcherson (Jess) has already starred in 23 movies to date and had won the Young Artist Award (according to IMDb). AnnaSophia Robb (Lesslie) has a dozen movies and two nominations for Young Artist Award on her resume. Special effects were nice, but they didn’t overwhelm the movie. They were placed nicely with taste and measure. Nice music. Very Peter Pan-ish feel. This movie could have been a great cartoon, but combination of live action/acting and CGI works best: it underlines the contrast between fairytale world and the reality. The movie was filmed in New Zeland. Very beatiful location.

I rated this movie 4/5 stars because I did not like the whole religious premise: who goes and who doesn’t go to heaven, how does god let stuff happen etc. With religion there’s always nothing to regret, nothing to explain: everything is “god’s willing”. I also thought that “free people” don’t need rulers by definition.

Read the book. If you don’t want to read it, go to the movie’s website. There you can download the audio book and listen to it on your computer, iPod or whatever MP3 player you are using…

Trivia: When Jess and Leslie are outside the girls bathroom and are talking about Janice Avery crying in one of the stalls, a little girl played by Maisy McLeod-Riera runs into the girls’ room saying “free the pee”. She then comes out crying after being threatened by Janice. She was also the Baby Gamgee in Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The Kind. Hence she can claim on her resume that she had been in an Oscar-nominated movie.

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Rated 4/5 on Jul 24 2007
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Tags: DVD · Drama · Fantasy · Movies

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Tom // Aug 4, 2007 at 11:26 am

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    I read this book in 7th grade and I didn’t like it. All I remember is that when she died, her parents had her cremated and that really bothered the little boy. Very strange choice in reading for 7th grade English.

  • 2 Will Roger // Sep 28, 2008 at 5:51 pm

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    I liked it but my four-year-old did not and I did not like it nearly enough to rent it knowing my little girl would not be interested.

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