Bridge to Terabithia – Borderland Film Review

Despite an advertising campaign that suggested THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE (e.g., some teenagers discover a mystical, magical land, where they become heroes), this adaptation of Katherine Paterson’s book emerges as something along the lines a kindlier, gentler American version of PAN’S LABYRINTH. It’s about two junior high school kids who don’t quite fit in; to escape the travails of the schoolyard (including an eighth grade girl who charges younger kids a dollar to get into the rest room), they find an uninhabited area of the nearby woods, where they imagine a magical kingdom called Terabithia. This escape from the pressures of real life leads not only to friendship and fun but also to a wiser understanding of the real world.
The fantasy excursions are relatively minimal, which is a good thing, because the computer-generated special effects (which bring to life walking trees and turn squirrels into the fantasy equivalent of vicious attack dogs) are one of the film’s weakest elements. The movie is on surer footing when the fantastic is left to the imagination or suggested through shadows and sounds. Read More