'Christopher Robin' review: Little pot of golden honey

Christopher Robin is treacly sweet, but not sickly. Image Courtesy: Twitter

Christopher Robin

Cast: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Jim Cummings
Director: Marc Forster
Rating: 3.5/5

It’s time for a movie interlude, folks. Disney’s Christopher Robin, starring Ewan McGregor is a sweet little film -- sans conflict and complicated characters and a well-crafted plot -- that delivers a welcome escape from the humdrum. All the magical creatures from A. A. Milne’s woodland posse are there: Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Roo, Piglet, Owl, and of course, Christopher Robin.  It is all about rediscovering the magic of childhood, and if you’re feeling particularly cramped by adulthood and all its frustrations, this is exactly the movie you need to see this weekend.

The movie opens with 9-year-old Christopher Robin saying goodbye to his friends in Hundred Acre Wood as he prepares to go to boarding school. And in the next few minutes, the movie fast forwards to Christopher Robin as an adult who’s lost a parent, grown up, fallen in love, got married, fought in the war, and is now back in London to work for a luggage manufacturer, and has a daughter who is around the same age he was when he said goodbye to his woodland friends. This storybook device is a lovely almost time-lapse metaphor for that passage of life from childhood to adulthood where dreams die and reality takes over.  

As he is navigating adulthood and trying to find a work-life balance in a topsy-turvy post-war economy, he chances upon his dear Pooh bear in London, who’s managed to find a portal that brings him to Christopher Robin all the way from Hundred Acre Wood. The rest of the movie is all about Christopher Robin getting back to basics once again – peppered with Pooh’s pithy platitudes, of course -- and rediscovering that love is something to be felt, not spelled. 

Flitting between the dreary, rain-soaked London landscape and mossy, sun-dappled meads of the countryside where earth and sky co-exist in all their hues, Christopher Robin is a visual delight. The economy in terms of plot and storyline might seem overtly simplistic to some, but to me, that is exactly what worked: the low-key vibe is a direct homage to Pooh’s world as envisioned by A. A. Milne. Sometimes, big words and big ideas are just not necessary. Simple is good. 

Christopher Robin is treacly sweet, but not sickly so. It’s a feelgood movie that makes you yearn for the simplicity of childhood, and as is expected, ties everything up with a neat little bow at the end where everyone’s happy and (most) everyone’s got what they want (and deserve). I didn’t go in expecting to find anything but lightness in spirit for a couple of hours, and I got that in spades. There is this lovely CGI scene where a crack in the tree door deepens. This scene moved me deeply. For isn’t that what happens to all of us? The cracks in our doors deepen, and we lose touch with our childhood and its endless breezy optimism because, as adults, we focus on the cracks.

Christopher Robin is particularly recommended for those that need a break, or need to be reminded to take a break, or are nostalgic but don’t seem to have the right vehicle to go down memory lane; will work like a charm, I promise. To borrow from one of Pooh’s literary forebears, Baloo, sometimes it pays to just focus on life’s bear necessities. 

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'Christopher Robin' review: Little pot of golden honey

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