A story about this — 4 years ago
I’ve wanted to watch this since reading Peter Jackson’s biography – just knowing some of the backstory to this film even being made really added something.
But just on the film itself, it works rather beautifully, imo. There is something a bit bleak about the atmosphere of the times, definitely something repressed. And in this environment, one naive schoolgirl falls in love with the imagination of another, and the pair create their own world – one which starts to consume them. However the real problems seem to come from over reactions of concerned parents…
I really loved the way the filmmakers handled the imaginary world: the girls have – in amazing detail! – sculpted the characters of their novel/world in clay, and thus when we segue into the dream-like sequences, we find them populated by those same clay creations; just, lifesize and mobile. It’s a great effect, without being a huge ‘FX’.
Obviously there’s a harsh end – we get a glimpse at the beginning, which is good as there’s no point pretending we don’t already know how this story ends (it’s based on true events, after all). The mood as that ending approaches is genuinely hair-on-end, not for being overtly horrific, but rather for being so calm and spacy.