Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children
Shane J Alliew
“You have been gone away too long Alice”. Oops, sorry I almost thought that I was writing a review for Producer Tim Burton’s Through the Looking Glass, when actually I am writing for Director Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
You see, I sometimes get caught in this time loop and it kind of pendulums me back and forth, from one time phase into another and I wonder if I have been falling down the rabbit hole, or have walked through the mirror or in this case, breezed through a maze of caves, on the island of Cairnholm, to enter into yet another magical land of curiosities- curiouser and curiouser!
Burton champions the cause of peculiar children this time, through the tales of Jake’s (Asa Butterfield) grandfather Abe (Terence Stamp), a World War veteran.
Unlike Alice who has to discover the world of the adorable mad hatter by herself, and the only other person she speaks with, in the outside world is her sister, Jake tries to tell his grandfather’s tales in class with supporting photographs which the teacher dismisses as ones picked up from the studio where special effects have been added; such a spoil sport for creativity.
So concerned American parents pack Jake off to a psychiatrist who later readily agrees that it would be good idea, if Jake and his father were to take a little break to the Welsh island, especially after Abe, is found dead in his garden, mutilated (eyes gorged out).
Once at Cairnholm, Jake is discovered by these children and is made to find his way through, to the ‘home for peculiar children’ protected by Miss Peregrine (Eva Green) the headmistress, who offers him tea, and would you believe, in 1943!
Well, the time frame is a kind of a safety bubble, a loop; Ms. Peregrine’s speciality, to command time (stop and re-create 24 hours all over again); which she does each day i.e. stops the clock just before the raiding Nazi aircraft missile destroys their beautiful Victorian home.
Well, apart from flitting back and forth 1943- 2016, Jake also seems to have his adrenin levels pumped up owing to a teenage crush on one of the peculiar girls, Emma (Ella Purnell), apparently who had also caught Abe’s fancy, well, in ‘his time’.
But all is not rosy as it seems. For in the darkness lurks the notorious shape-shifting Barron (Samuel L Jackson) a failed peculiar, harnessing the desire to control the world, on the prowl for other peculiarities, yes, to gorge their eyes out and pop them into his mouth like peppermint candies! Yikes- but oh, yeah that’s the charisma of Jackson, no one else can pop eyes into one’s mouth as if one is actually popping mint, like our great man!
So what do you think happens? Well, the time bubble bursts and it’s up to Jake to take care of the entrusted kids even as Ms. Peregine an ‘ymbrine’, actually a peregrine falcon, is forced into captivity by Barron.
Will Jake rise to the occasion and then what? Herein Burton always makes the climax interesting even though we are aware of what will finally happen.
Alice returns to her world, a stronger, wiser and bolder girl, off on some real adventures in real-time. Will Jake be able to do the same, or does he create more fascinating memories? That my dear reader is for you to find out- I am merely a vessel to tingle your curious buds.
But I would prophesize this for you: the film’s worth a watch and in its simplicity leaves us all a basic message- sometimes we see things which others are not able to, that’s when one needs to act and take courage to explore the worlds that lie before us!