Jesse is picked on at school and had no friends until Leslie, the new girl, befriends him and they begin to come really close. They use their imaginations and create a world called Terebithia, only for the wonderful fantasy to end in disaster, tragedy and loss. But it's up to Jesse to remember what Leslie taught him and to stay happy.
Close your eyes, but keep your mind wide open . . .
Bridge To Terabithia
I have not read the book and did not see this movie with many expectations.
To begin with, this is a story of Jesse Aarons (Josh Hutcherson). Jesse is the fastest runner in his class and very proud of being so. Frequently picked on by the local bullies, troubled with the financial situation back home and oft ignored by all but one of his 5 sisters, he immerses himself within his drawings as an escape... Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb)is the new-kid in his class. She has a panache for writing which coupled by her ability to outrun all the guys in her class (including Jesse) ensures that she doesn't have the best luck making new friends. However, with their affinity to be picked on, Jesse and Leslie soon find themselves extremely fond of each other and off looking for a place of their own... This is Terabithia...
And this is where I'll end my summary for I do not wish to go into the spoilers for the movie.
All the kids in the movie really shine in their respective roles. As many reviewers have said before me, Josh and AnnaSophia are a wonderful pair! I would also like to mention the young Bailee Madison (playing Josh's younger sister) for her portrayal of May Belle.
However, what truly lifts this movie from "good" to "great" is the simplicity of the whole story. This is a children's movie through and through and but do not expect a typical Disney feel-good comedy. Do not also expect huge CG sequences like say, The Chronicles of Narnia.
This movie is full of heart and everything about it is shown from the eyes of a child. Life, is not a pretty thing and more than the magical kingdom of Terabithia, this is a tale of a young kids' coming to terms with matters of being bullied, being loved, having a true friend and even trying to understand death.
By the end of it all, many people around me were moved to tears and I myself was trying desperately to hold back. The movie, its message and its delivery are all beautiful.
On a critical note, the only thing about the movie that I didn't particularly love was the music. The music in general wasn't very well suited and certain songs were just not needed, but I suppose thats what the MTv culture demands.
In conclusion, I highly recommend it. Go and watch this movie and if you have them, take your children... They'll love it!
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