Searching for insight into his father's life and the magical place he wrote about in the children's book, Neverwas, psychiatrist Zach Riley takes a job at the institution where his father was once treated. There, Zach meets Gabriel, a patient whose alternate reality is startlingly close to the world his father created.
Review: 5 out of 5 stars
I recently found this movie on Netflix. The description of the movie made me think this was a horror type movie. The minute the movie started, I recognized Ian McKellan's voice, I started paying attention.
This movie has an all-star cast. Ian McKellan, Jessica Lange, William Hurt, Nick Nolte, Alan Cumming, Brittany Murply, and Aaron Eckhart.
The movie has a bit of a slow going, with flash backs of Zack's childhood thrown in here and there. As an adult, Zack gets a mob at the institution his father was treated at, right before the anniversary of his death, to learn more about him and why he wound up taking the path he did.
From the moment Ian McKellan pokes his beardy, wild hair, and talking in riddles makes his first appearance, I got sucked in. Watching him try to trigger Zack's long-repressed memory He speaks about the Land of Neverwas like he lived in it, confusing Zack even more.
As the movie progresses, you learn more and more about Zack's father, and how a manic depressive was able to write one of the best children's novels in all time. You also learn about a child's grief and sense of responsibility for his father's death keeping him from embracing what is surely just a movie.
The movie had so many different twists and turns, snippets of information thrown at you, leaving you the responsibility to sort them out until the end. I still believe I hadn't paid attention enough to get as much out of the movie as I could, and plan to watch again.
The ending will leave you in tears, leave you inspired, and leave you wanting to stay with Ian McKellan to see what new adventure he has in store.
No review can do this movie justice without giving away major plot points. But if you love an epic tale and Ian McKellan, you will love this movie.
This movie is one of the first movies that affected me so much I couldn't wait to shout it from the rooftops. Due to some mature content, I wouldn't suggest children watching it, but if you don't, you are missing a terrific movie!