This is a sweet, simple little film, but with some interesting and
thoughtful themes to get your kids thinking a little more about things
they see sometimes, but may not really understand.
The biggest of those themes is loss, and the reviewers who don't 'get' Sam Worthingtons character have completely missed this. You don't just 'get over' the loss of your wife five months after her sudden death, everyone has their own way of coming back, and Worthington's character hasn't found that way back when we meet him in the film. He's still lost. And it's his son's understanding of his dads grief that underpins the entire film. It's subtle, but it's the whole driving force of this story. The actual competition that seems to drive the film is actually secondary... but ultimately becomes the catalyst to get the father through his grief and back to 'life'.
My 8yo son picked up on this about halfway through the film, when the father refused to sell the piano - he said 'I know why he can't sell it'. The storyline didn't flesh it out until later, when Dylan told Kimi that his mum had been a piano teacher - and this is another thing the film does; it reveals its layers slowly, and for the most part lets its audience figure things out for themselves.
The messages and lessons for the target audience start almost from the beginning of the film - it will get kids thinking about sportsmanship, peer pressure, role models, friendship, and loss... and it does so with a good dose of laughter and a sublime sense of the ridiculous - always a winner with kids.
Worthington's character didn't really hit his stride until mid film, which was a shame - it left the door open for the less cerebral members of the audience to assume he was just a deadbeat dad, and when those types make that assumption, they'll drop dead before they'll admit to themselves that they were wrong. Not Worthington's fault; the script should have introduced the bereavement earlier than it did.
I also think the connection between Dylan's father and grandfather should have been explored a little more. Ultimately we end up knowing nothing about his father other than that he's shattered by the loss of his wife - that's a given, so why didn't we get a little more about the man himself? I slept on my lounge plenty of times myself in the months following my separation from my wife, but if I were a movie character I'd want my audience to know a bit more about me than that fact.
Tip - have a decent supply of A4 paper on hand for the morning after watching this movie with your kids :)
Action / Family
Action / Family
On a beautiful sunny morning, Jethro, an uncommon instructor, heads to an elementary school. He is an expert in paper planes, planning to demonstrate the art of paper plane folding to the students and to inform them of the State Competition for the Junior Championship next Sunday. The unexpected introduction to the world of competitive paper plane throwing will excite timid 12-year-old Dylan Weber, forcing him to do his best to beat the 25m qualification point and make it to the Aussie Junior Championships in Sydney. Before long, Dylan will get his ticket to compete, yet, with a father living in the past uninspired and resigned because of his wife's death in a car accident some five months ago, he will have to use his resourcefulness to come up with a winning paper plane model and all the help he can get to make his newfound dream a reality. With the ultimate goal set at the World Junior Paper Plane Championship in Tokyo, talented Dylan not only will he have to gather the sum for such...
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June 24, 2015 at 04:39 AM