Thursday, 1 May 2014

Neverwas (2005)

I'm not sure how this movie got the cast it did, but it's a fairly crazy parade of names.  You can IMDB it if you don't trust my word.

The plot deals with Zach Riley, a highly qualified psychiatrist who leaves his high-flying academic career to treat patients at a private institution.  He more or less browbeats the head of operations into giving him a try at the job, explaining his insistence 'I knew someone who came here and didn't get the help they needed.  I want to make sure that never happens again'.

What Zach isn't saying is that the 'someone' is his father, a renowned children's author who committed suicide some years after his stay in the institution.  He's also not saying that he barely sleeps, plagued with nightmares and the guilt he feels over his father's death.

Having landed the job, Zach soon runs into two people who will have a profound impact on his life.  The first is Maggie Paine, the once-tomboy little sister of a childhood friend, who has (in the way such things happen in movies) blossomed into a beautiful young woman.  The second is Gabriel, a patient at the clinic who believes Zach has come to rescue him from 'the dungeon' and return him to 'Neverwas' (the fairy tale kingdom from his father's book).

Clearly, Gabriel is crazy, but Zach can't help be intrigued, especially when he learns that his father wrote to the other man.  Is there more to Gabriel's story than merely deluded rantings?  Will Zach and Maggie make out (spoiler: yes).  Will the answers to these questions help Zach resolve his own psychological problems, and if so, how?

To get the answers to all that, you'll have to actually watch the movie.  Which isn't a hardship, really.  A cast like this really makes a movie hum.  I will say that this film owes more to Terabithia than Narnia, though, albeit translated through an adult lens.  So on that basis you might have some idea of what to expect.

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