Movie review: Goodbye Christopher Robin

13 Apr 2018 / 11:22 H.

IF YOU are a big fan of Winnie the Pooh, you would have known about its author, A.A. Milne, who created this whimsical world featuring his son, Christopher Robin, and other denizens of Hundred Acre Wood, such as Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore.
This film is based on the memoirs of Milne’s son of the same name, which draws upon the complicated relationship that both father and son had during the boy’s growing up years.
It begins with the older Milne (Domhall Gleeson), or Blue, as he is called, getting a telegram, and his demeanour tells us it is bad news.
That scene then flashes back to when Blue, just fresh off fighting in World War I, is having difficultly adjusting to a normal life.
It also doesn’t help that his wife, Daphne (Margot Robbie), belongs to the ‘if you don’t think about dreadful things, they will cease to exist’ school of thought.
When Christopher Robin aka Billy Moon is born, Daphne proves to be a poor caregiver (on top of being a party animal and shallow-minded), so nanny Olive (Kelly Macdonald) is hired to look after the boy.
An incident at the staging of a play he wrote convinces Blue that he has to get out of London in order to write again, forcing a reluctant Daphne, Olive, and little Billy Moon to follow him.
The countryside is wonderful for the child, but his mother is restless especially when she notices that Blue isn’t writing anything. So Daphne leaves the family for London.
Soon after, Olive has to leave Billy Moon (Will Tilson) with Blue because her own mother is ill.
It is during this time that father and son really start bonding, and the inspiration for Milne’s classic children’s story comes alive.

However, it is young Billy Moon who pays the ultimate price of his father’s celebrity.
The story is interesting, but the only warmth we can feel is between the loving nanny and her ward.
You feel Billy Moon’s pain at having such self-absorbed parents, and what drives him later in life.
However, the film does not delve too deep into his emotions, and the ending is too neatly packaged for viewers.

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