The film is directed by David Lowery.
Disney's Pete's Dragon is a remake of the 1977 Disney film by the same name. Releasing this Raksha Bandhan in India, the movie is a perfect family treat, and stars Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban, Wes Bentley and two talented kids, Oakes Fegley and Oona Laurence. And, of course, a dragon. Here's our review of the movie.
What's it about
When Pete (Oakes Fegley) was five years old, he gets involved in a car accident during a road trip that kills his parents, but he survives. Left to fend for himself in the forest, he is taken under the care of a kind, green and lovable dragon (who can get invisible as well), whom Pete names Elliott after a character in his favorite bedtime story. Six years later, he is discovered by the forest ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her daughter Natalie (Oona Laurence), who takes him under their care, despite his reluctance to leave his 'home' and his friend. At the same time, her husband Jack (Wes Bentley)'s brother Gavin (Karl Urban) discovers the dragon, who was frantically searching for Pete, while he was doing lumbering with his crew. Pete finds it difficult to adjust with the civilian life and yearns to be with Elliott, though he warms up to Grace and her family, especially Natalie. Meanwhile, Gavin is determined to catch Elliott so that he can make his name, which leads to Pete and his new family doing everything to save the green beast from falling in the clutches of mankind.
When you go for a Disney movie, you expect to be immersed in an experience that will bring a smile to your face, as well as touch your heart. And of course, get mesmerised by the visual beauty of the film. Pete's Dragon manages to hit all those notes with equal fervour. It make you smile, while also allowing you a few moments to wipe off those tears from your eyes. There's a hardly a note gone wrong in the tale of friendship between Pete and his dragon that can be on par with what you saw in How To Train Your Dragon (I am sorry I just can't pick a favourite here). There are a few scenes that will bring a lump to your throat like when Elliot finally finds where Pete is been taken and sees him getting happily adjusted with his new family. Or the final moments of the film which I don't want to spoil here. I hate to admit this, but I did drop a few tears there.
Elliott is a visual marvel, his CGI is rendered with perfect strokes and his expressions are so right that he looks more a loveable giant-sized puppy, than that ferocious dragon that you have read about in Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings books. However, all the CGI would have been rendered useless if the film hadn't touched those right notes of emotions, and that happens due to wonderful performances from the cast, especially the child actors. Oakes Fegley gives one of the best performances of the year as the feral child who strikes a friendship with the mythical creature. He is the life and soul of the movie, and we invest in his tale because of his bright eyed-act. Oona Laurence gives him good support with an equally likeable performance. Among the adults, Bryce Dallas Howard is charming as ever and Robert Redford, who plays her dad, also gets a few moments to shine. The rest of the supporting cast, including Wes Bentley and Karl Urban, are also admirable.
One thing I have to admit here is that plot has nothing new to offer for those as we have seen the storyline in a few other films. Like a boy surviving in a jungle (The Jungle Book), striking a friendship with a dragon (How To Train Your Dragon), humans wanting to capture the beast (ET and King Kong) - you will feel Pete's Dragon's plot similar to a few such stories of its ilk. But you do have to remember that the source of the movie goes way beyond some of the movies that I have mentioned above. Also, the beautiful storytelling will render these similarities pointless, once you get properly immersed. Another little point I have a grudge with is that the talented Wes Bentley (Interstellar, The Hunger Games) is once again given a character where he has little to do.
What to do
Pete's Dragon is definitely one of the most emotionally touching movies to have released this year. Make sure you never let go off the opportunity to watch this film this weekend, as this is one dragon's tale that you just cannot miss! Also, keep a few tissues in handy, just in case.
4.0 out of 5
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