Quick Summary: Zach (played by Aaron Eckhart) is a psychiatrist who leaves his esteemed position at Cornell to begin work at a small psychiatric facility called Millwood. His father, who wrote a popular children’s book- Neverwas, was once a patient there when Zach was a child, and do to this past connection (and other reasons I shall not spoil) he chooses to begin work here to put some missing pieces of his childhood experiences together. While there, he meets a long-time resident schizophrenic Gabriel (played by Ian McKellen) who has his own secrets and mysterious about Zach’s father, and how important the children s story he wrote really is.
This story really pulls at the heart strings due to the incredible acting and story line that plays out. Little by little you learn of Zach’s past and what his father had gone through, what the children’s book meant to him, and eventually how he grows as a person after everything is said and done. You see Gabriel is so many different lights and views as the movie goes on, learning more and more about him and why he needs Zach so much. There is a main story here, but there are also smaller story lines that twist and weave wonderfully with the main one. It reminds me a little of Alice in Wonderland, mixing fairy tales and reality, childish whimsical feelings with real adult situations that are tough or scary.
Sometimes the story can seem to drag on a bit slow, or be a little too disjointed in trying to remain mysterious, which can draw you out of the drama that is going on. If you enjoy more fast paced with many highs and many lows, this may not be quite for you. It tends to move a slower pace and rolls gently up and down instead of having sudden high impact drama scenes that make you gasp. Not so say there aren’t surprises and dramatic moments, because there are. There are also a few characters who I feel could have had more screen time, such as the Head doctor of the facility, and maybe Zach’s mother who is quite eccentric through the whole film. The romance between Zach and Maggie (played by Britney Murphy) was a little too convenient, and maybe a little too forced feeling. On Zach’s part, for not having seen this person for so long, he seems too eager to want to be romantic. However, this could also be attributed to his own mental state and personality, which we see is a little flawed through different scenes in the film. It still has a bitter sweet feeling to it, but doesn’t quite feel real. Though Murphy is adorable and wonderful is this as she was in everything.
So a little bit of negativity, but more positive from this bloggers point of view. It seems people either love or feel kind of “meh” about this film. It’s very artsy, fantasy-esque, feeling too it dealing with mental illness, family relationships, and how powerful ones imagination can be.
Overall I give this film an 8/10.