Inkheart is a fantasy film directed by Iain Softley and stars Brendan Fraser, Eliza Bennett, Paul Bettany, and many others. It is based on the novel of the same name, originally published in German, by Cornelia Funke. The film’s production began in 2006, and was released on December 2008 in the UK and January 2009 in the US.
Plot. The movie conceives the idea that there people known as “Silver Tongues” who are born with the gift that whenever they read a story out loud, the story becomes real. So the movie begins with Mortimer “Mo” Folchart and his wife, Resa, reading the fairy tale “Little Red Riding Hood” to their baby daughter Meggie. Unknown to Mo, he is a silver tongue and as he reads the story, a red velvet hood appears and his wife disappears. Twelve years has passed, and Mo and Meggie are strolling the European countryside, with Mo secretly looking for the book “Inkheart”. Suddenly, Dustfinger, a character from Inkheart appears and chases them, in attempt to persuade Mo to read him back into the book. But as Dustfinger and Mo has learned to trust each other, the men of the book’s villain Capricorn show out and takes the family to Capricorn’s castle. There, Mo and Meggie are imprisoned in a stable which houses several creatures from different storybooks. There, Meggie learns the truth about her mother and “Inkheart” and soon discovers that like her father, she is a Silver Tongue. And there, they find that one of the servant girls in the castle is actually long-lost Resa. The family is then united but a greater danger is soon to come – Capricorn plans to release the supernatural and most deadly villain from the book called the “Shadow.” Now, with her gift to rewrite the story, Meggie must end the evil and send all the characters back to their own stories.
Review. The movie has a unique and beautiful concept – that some are given gift to bring to life anything they read. The idea is great but the story is quite hard to follow. There have been so many things happening, so many characters involved, that all together, everything seems so lost. Audience will see actors and people running and fighting but will hardly feel the drama and suspense on it. The movie lacks the charm to be engaging and entertaining. There are attempts for humor but they come out flat. Even with the idea that there are several mythical and supernatural natural creatures in the movie, it fails to be impressive and exciting. I suppose the good thing the film did is to inspire children to read.
Actor. As always, Brendan Fraser is as good as with his previous fantasy films like The Mummy series and the Journey to the Center of the Earth. Yet, his character here is somehow boring, uninteresting, and forgettable. Well, it is the film’s fault for the lack of really good material.
Unforgettable Scene. The best part of the film will be the opening because it is very quick and confusing despite the voice narration. I find it hard to remember the rest.
Reception. Inkheart was not highly praised. In Rotten Tomatoes, it received 52 “Fresh” reviews and 80 “Rotten” reviews. It scored 47 out of 100 in Metacritic, indicating mixed or average reviews. It did not also perform well commercially for it only managed to achieve slightly above break even with its budget.
Rating. Two stars out of five for Inkheart. Great idea, but executed badly.