Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mia and Jad meet Le Petit Prince at last...

We had been waiting for an eternity. From the moment we heard it was in the making, we just could not wait. And finally, two days ago, we took the children to a very special avant-première of Le Petit Prince.

Source: Wikipedia

I had refrained from reading about the film or even watching the preview. I really wanted to make room for fascination and I refused to go with preconceptions or expectations.

After all, Saint-Exupéry's masterpiece is a classic. We grew up with it. And it grew with us. It is one of those stories that you read and reread over and over again. And with every reading, you understand more. You see more. You discover more. It is truly beautiful. And quite frankly, I was a little worried the film would pale in comparison to the original.

And maybe because anyone who had read Saint-Exupéry would also fear nothing could possibly equal to the book, the filmmakers intelligently created their story around the original text and not as an adaptation of The Little Prince for the big screen. Considering the book itself relies greatly on visuals and the drawings of the author, it would have been sadly dull and redundant to simply animate those illustrations. And because nothing matches human imagination and so many have read the book countless times, any animation would have felt a little unimpressive.

Instead, these illustrations are left exactly as they are in the book. But they become the center and the catalyst for the film storyline. They instigate the main connection between the characters who will move forward to not only recount the story but even do what any child (or adult) does with characters they get attached to: go beyond what exists.

We have all taken characters of a book or film we love and imagined how their lives would be after the ending.

The film is basically the (theorized) future of The Little Prince as imagined by the creators. But it does not transgress from the core and gives another layer to the original messages conveyed in the book while establishing a coherent correlation to our modern lives. Humans are humans after all. Be it in 1943, when Saint-Exupéry published this beautiful life lesson (poem) or today.

Dreams, hopes, expectations, demands, values... They have not changed that much. Humans are still as greedy, vain and materialistic as ever. Children are still as pure, raw and open as ever. And humans are still required to grow up into that "adult person" that society imposes as "reasonable".

The film is beautiful. Visually. It is a pleasure to watch. The story of The Little Prince itself is revealed in a stop motion of the original illustrations while the rest of the "real world" is developing in modern animation style. Since the film has not been released yet in the UAE, I will refrain from going into the details but I will reiterate it is very well done. A beautiful production that honors the work of Saint-Exupéry.

The music is as fantastic as the visuals. I absolutely loved the soundtrack. It lifted the narrative beautifully and tells a story in and by itself. One would be tempted to sit there, eyes shut, just listening. It might come across as cliché to say that the music transported us but it truly was a vehicle to a deeper intensity and understanding of the themes.

Mia waiting for the film to start

We were lucky enough to score tickets to this avant-première in French as the original version might never play in UAE theaters. It was emotional to watch it in the language I have read and known The Little Prince. That being said, I am definitely going to watch it again, even if it is in English. The kids loved it and Mia has been bringing up intense scenes of the film (to my surprise, not the silly events at the surface). So I would like to give her the opportunity to watch it again and hopefully see new things that will mesmerize her and undoubtedly make her think and analyze every new discovery. She has not yet read the book and this will be an opportunity to explore the story now. I just cannot wait for that.

Jad just happy to be there!

Red carpet moment for Mia and Lynn before we enter the theater

The Little Prince will be released in UAE Theaters on October 22, 2015.
Do not miss it!      

This review was written for Mums Like Us.

Mamma Mia+Jad

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