Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

This drama is a biography of the life of the writer of Winnie the Pooh, A. A. Milne. I don’t know about you, but a life story of the writer of Winnie the Pooh is definitely not a history I had stored in my general knowledge. So I went into this film having no knowledge of what was going to happen or how these figures would react, other than Alan Milne eventually writing the childhood spectacular of Winnie and his friends. What I didn’t expect was to be blubbing throughout the film, it was a beautifully heart-wrenching film.

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The true story is inspired by one family, the Milne’s. The father, Alan Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), is nicknamed Blue, this is what he is mostly referred to as. Once a soldier in the First World War, Alan struggles with war-related flashbacks in uncontrollable states of bright lights, loud noises and sudden movements, you watch as this man struggles with his own hearing and sight but tries to hide himself in writing books. In constant fear of war, he retreats him and his family to the countryside to move away from the loud noises that haunt him so much. Soon he feels his books and plays are not making the difference he wants to make, he wants to stop all wars, to find any possibility to end another war, especially when he has a son. Daphne Milne (Margot Robbie), the wife and mother, is a complicated character. Her harsh ways but loving appearances are confusing to understand her charisma, but deep down she’s a character in agony of bearing a son when she believes there to be another war he will have to partake in. Both of these characters are riddled with reality confusions and are lost in their own despairs, that when the young boy grows up he never has much connection with either parent having been brought up by his Nanny (Kelly Macdonald).

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This little boy of course is Christopher Robin, but from a young age he was called Billy Moon by his family. He has so much love for his Nanny Nou as she was always more of a parent than his actual parents. But when she has to leave for personal reasons and the mother is also away, father and son are forced to spend time together like they’ve never before. This is when the exploration of the woods comes to life as young boy and father play and pretend of wild animals and bears. The creation of Winnie the Pooh is beautifully done as Billy Moon plays in the woods with his beloved teddy bear and illustrator draws the simplicity of Christopher Robin and his best friend. The contrasts and edits of the film create a truth in the children’s books coming to life as they did when first wrote.

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As the success of Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh grows the harder is becomes for poor Billy Moon to cling onto his own childhood and his story. The film progresses through the life of the family as a lot of things change. Emotional and heart-felt, this drama cleverly plays on the audience’s emotions as anything could happen, but as a constant reminder this is the true story. The actors and actresses are brilliant as their real-life characters come into play in reality on film, every word is hung to as what was said. As the film passes through life, the movement of time has to be done well, which of course it is, the characters look older perfectly. You really do fall into this British beautiful drama of the Milne’s struggles and realities of creating a phenomenal children’s story.

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‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ was a true eye-opener to the effects of a successful book has on one family, even though they were the ones successful. The young boy could never have his story to himself ever again, it was always to be shared with the rest of the world. But on the other hand, Winnie the Pooh created a happiness in childhoods all around the world and is still remembered today, cherished in children’s memories of the wonders of a bear in the woods and all of his friends’ beloved.

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