First Hit: A wonderful and heartwarming flight of fantasy film that may hold some truth.
This film moves between three periods of time, current time, the early 1900’s and the mid-late 1800’s.
Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) washed up ashore in New York because his newly deported parents wanted him to live in America. So while they were leaving on a boat back to their home country, they put their son into a model boat in New York harbor (the mid-late 1800’s).
Lake is partially brought up by Humpstone John (Graham Green) and then tutored in theft by Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe) who is also an agent for the devil; in this case it’s The Judge (Will Smith). While in the midst of robbing a large home he runs into Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a sick with consumption woman who will be dying soon.
The chemistry between them in this first meeting is palpable and comes through the screen and into your lap. This love transforms him to want to stop being a thief and to open his heart to love for the first time. He thinks he’s there to save her from dying and makes a promise to her young sister Willa (Mckalya Twiggs) that he will kiss her sister and bring her back to life if she dies.
Because Lake was supposed to be the heir apparent to Pearly and Lake crosses him, Soames is out to kill Lake. Peter is fighting to keep himself safe and connected to Beverly and at one point meets her father Issac Penn (William Hurt) who accepts the thief Lake.
The film then moves to current time which has Lake not knowing who he is and trying to understand why he keeps drawing pictures of a girl with red hair on the sidewalk in Central Park. He keeps thinking that his existence is about Beverly, but soon learns that she got him to the current time and it is now about a young girl, Abby (Ripley Sobo), who is sick with cancer. Cutting across these time and generational divides with Lake is his beautiful angel white horse.
This film is about light, love and miracles.
Farrell is excellent. He does scruffy and heart-filled so very well. Findlay is very strong as the consumptive woman and love interest. Crowe is superb as the evil agent of the devil. Smith is an interesting choice as the Judge. Twiggs is sublime and incredibly endearing as the young sister. Hurt is great as the father of these two girls. Sobo is fantastic as the young girl in current time. I enjoyed seeing Green and appreciated his part. Jennifer Connelly as Abby's mother was perfect casting. Akiva Goldsman wrote a wonderful screenplay and knew what he wanted in directing this cast to tell this story.
Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed watching this romantic film.