Entry updated 3 April 2020. Tagged: Film.
Film (2007). New Line Cinema. Directed by Bob Shaye. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Toby Emmerich; story by James V Hart & Carol Skilken, based on "Mimsy were the Borogoves" (February 1943 Astounding) by Lewis Padgett (Henry Kuttner and C L Moore). Cast includes Michael Clarke Duncan, Kathryn Hahn, Timothy Hutton, Chris O'Neil, Joely Richardson, Rainn Wilson and Rhiannon Leigh Wryn. 90 minutes. Colour.
Toys from the future train a pair of Children in advanced scientific thought and techniques, enabling them to defy adult alarms and build a machine which will return a sample of their antelapsarian DNA to repair a dying humanity's genetic damage.
Notwithstanding some distinguished names in the daisy-chain of credited writers, a more than usually brutal passage through the oesophagus of Hollywood has seen the Kuttner-Moore story stripped of most of its point in a mixture of quantum technobabble and new-age wiffle. In the source story, the toys rewire the children's minds by purely cognitive means which address their innate neuroplasticity, leading to a deeply resonant finale as the children disappear permanently into non-Euclidean Dimensions where adults cannot follow. (Shane Carruth's unrealized feature A Topiary, in development at the same time, would have presented a much darker version of the same premise.) In the film, however, this powerful parable of children's superior receptivity to new, alien, futuristic, and Transcendental experience is discarded, their actual cortex is (somehow) enhanced, and the family is restored rather than broken up at the end. In partial compensation, the unfamiliar child leads are both outstanding, and their warm, conspiratorial sibling relationship is portrayed with a refreshing resistance to Hollywood requirements for intrafamilial tension and rivalry. Shaye is better known as the New Line CEO who produced Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film series (see J R R Tolkien). [NL]
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