STORY: Based on Mark Halprin’s 1983 novel by the same name, Winter’s Tale makes us want to believe in miracles and eternal love that transcends time and space.
REVIEW: In spite of the escapist theme and a beautiful snow-clad setting, the time-travelling romance seems ineffective as you have demons, a magical white horse and much more barging into the story, making it all look more ludicrous than fascinating. However, diehard fans of mushy love stories may still like the film, given the ‘feel-good’ execution. Coming to the plot, the story spans across centuries.
Set in a mythical New York, it all starts in 1895 when orphaned thief Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) falls for Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a wealthy young woman dying of consumption. However, Peter is being chased by crime boss Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe), who is actually a demon in the service of Lucifer (Will Smith).
A magical white horse whisks Peter away, every time he faces trouble but in return, can Peter become the guardian angel of Beverly and rescue her from the clutches of death? While the setting, cinematography, background score, outfits, imagery, everything is ideal for a ‘magical love story’, the adaptation is way too convoluted and unconvincing. It all looks beautiful but you don’t feel for the characters or their love, which is a big drawback for a romantic fantasy.
Barring Jennifer Connelly’s cameo, even performances are mediocre. The two lead actors have no chemistry. Colin Farrell survives for some 100 years to ‘find and fulfill the purpose’ of his immortality but you fail to find the purpose of this never-ending love story. Russell Crowe hams while Will Smith embarrasses himself by taking up the role. Farrell sports a funny hairstyle but acts well. Jessica Brown Findlay looks gorgeous but has nothing much to contribute. If you dream about Colin Farrell, you might like this one, otherwise read a Jane Austen novel instead.