The NeverEnding Story (1984)

The more I watch movies from my childhood, the more I realise that I’m not a child anymore and that there’s still plenty of snark left in me.  Some of them age quite well, some I see in entirely new lights, and some I shake my head at for enjoying as much as I did.  This one is a mixture of the latter two observations, as there are numerous things that I didn’t get at the time, but it also seems so very cheesy now.

Wolfgang Petersen directed this somewhat loose adaptation of Michael Ende’s book, and it stars numerous actors who barely ever did anything else but will live on forever as these characters.  Bastian (Barret Oliver) is an imaginative young boy, dealing with the recent death of his mother.  When Bastian’s father (Gerald McRaney) tells him to keep his feet on the ground, Bastian takes the advice seriously and makes an attempt at doing just that.  Those plans are ruined when he steals a mysterious book from a bookstore and plays hooky from school to spend an entire day reading The NeverEnding Story book.  Soon, Bastian finds himself lost in the fantastical land of Fantasia and embarks on a journey of self-discovery or something.

I remembered it as being dark, even as a kid, but it still shocks me how emotionally powerful the movie is at points.  However, it doesn’t really tell much of a story of self-discovery in my opinion, just being a background for a fantasy tale that provides no real world implications for Bastian.  For example, it appears (to me at least) to break the fourth wall irreparably at one point, leading me to question what exactly the message of the movie was with its horrifying events and fearsome villains and weird heroes.

I really don’t know how kids today would take to the movie, other than dismissing it as silly and asking what a “book” is.

3 / 5


About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

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