Length: 118 minutes
Release Date: February 14, 2014
Directed by: Akiva Goldsman
Genre: Drama / Fantasy / Mystery
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Akiva Goldsman, who is known for directing “A Beautiful Mind,” brings Mark Helprin’s novel by the same name to life. In this on-screen adaptation with a star-studded cast, which includes the likes of Russell Crowe and Colin Farrell, viewers watch as a story of love and fantasy unfolds before their eyes. The tagline of the movie, “This is not a true story, this is true love,” perfectly embodies the essence of this film, as the beautiful love story leaves moviegoers feeling the connection between the two main characters, which stretches centuries.
Colin Farrell plays the role of Peter Lake in “Winter’s Tale.” Farrell is known for starring in movies such as “Total Recall” and “Phone Booth,” and his proven versatility as an actor assists him in bringing Peter Lake to life. In “Winter’s Tale,” Peter is an accomplished thief who has a knack for stealing the things he needs, as well as the things he does not need, to get through life. He lives in an apartment above Grand Central Station in New York City, and he is on the run from Pearly Soames, who is played by Russell Crowe.
The struggle between Peter and Pearly, who is actually a demon from hell on a mission from the devil himself, played by Will Smith, allows “Winter’s Tale” to play off the theme of good versus evil. Though Peter is a criminal, he is ultimately a good man. Pearly is a demon who seeks to destroy Peter and prevent him from performing his miracle. In addition to the noticeable element of good versus evil, “Winter’s Tale” also provides the struggle of angels versus demons and gives its own views on theology, which gives viewers something interesting to think about while watching this film about everlasting love.
Meanwhile, as Peter is trying to save his own hide, he plans a burglary at a beautiful 5th Avenue apartment. Contrary to his knowledge, the tenant is in the apartment, and that tenant happens to be a beautiful woman with curly red hair. Peter walks in on Beverly Penn, who is played by Jessica Brown Findlay, and his robbery plans are immediately foiled. Moviegoers see that Beverly is not afraid of Peter, and instead of calling the cops, she offers him a cup of tea, and the two sit down to chat. This is the point in the movie where the true love story begins.
It is immediately apparent to viewers just how much chemistry lies between these two characters. It is heartwarming to see the instant connection between Beverly and Peter in “Winter’s Tale” and how they charm each other immediately. His bad boy past does not keep him from sweeping Beverly completely off her feet. Viewers melt as Peter tells Beverly that the best thing he has ever stolen is something he has not yet stolen, implying that it is her heart.
Unfortunately, as their beautiful, pure love grows, Peter learns that Beverly is dying from tuberculosis. The fact that he has such a limited amount of time with her is heartbreaking to Peter and to the audience, as well. Although he knows she is sick, this does not keep Peter from treating Beverly like a princess in the time they are together. His well-timed compliments and loving embraces make even the viewers blush.
While Colin Farrell does an excellent job playing someone on the run from his evil former boss, his kind eyes allow viewers to see into his soul as he truly falls in love in “Winter’s Tale.” Even when the movie flashes forward and Peter is shown in modern New York in an amnesic state in which he does not know who he is, moviegoers clearly see how much love he still has for Beverly. However, for him, she is just a haunting image of a beautiful woman. As he figures out his power and discovers that he has the ability to perform a miracle, viewers see his hopefulness at the prospect that he can go back in time and save his one true love.
The movie shows New York City in three different time periods: the 1800s, the 1900s and the 2000s. Because there are so many majestic elements, such as Peter’s inability to age, a magical horse that shows up right in Peter’s times of need and time travel, viewers mind’s are constantly working while watching “Winter’s Tale.” This is a movie for those who like to think about the films they are watching and enjoy a complex tale that involves many underlying themes.
With a cast of well-known actors and actresses and a storyline that woos even the toughest viewers, “Winter’s Tale” is a great date movie. The romance is more than evident throughout the movie, while the majestic elements ensure that moviegoers who enjoy a more complex film are satisfied.