Vincent Canby, 1991
Steven Spielbergs movie entitled Hook was Peter Pans future life. The director showed the life of Peter Pan after his ended battle with his mortal enemy, Captain Hook. Peter married Wendys grand daughter but still have a heart towards Wendy. After a long period of time without seeing each other, Peter and Wendy reunited again to reminisce the past but Peter did not think of Captain Hooks new way of revenge to capture his children as a favor to his presence in the Never Land.
According to Hal Hinson, Hook is the story of Bannings redemption; its an extravagant fable about how Banning recovers his past as Peter Pan, saving himself and his family by (please excuse the psychobabble) reclaiming his inner child. Its a 90s movie to the bone, yet another moral lesson for our time. Its also great fun: big, splashy, energetic, one-size-fits-all Hollywood entertainment.
There are different symbolisms, images, and ironies that emerged and developed all throughout the movie. Spielbergs way of depicting the adult character of Peter Pan showed his strengths as a hero and weaknesses as a person. Tinkerbelles loyal character towards Peter Pan became the reason how Peter came back to his home. Wendy has grown old but she feels every situation that happens when it comes to the presence of Hook and other people from Peters world. Wendy, Tinkerbelle, and Peter Pan are all depiction of fictional reality that exists in an ideal and real world.
The same old room where Wendy and Peter met still exists in this movie. It means that there is still something to happen beneath the big window of this room. Here is where Peters children capture and goes to the Never Land. Peter already forgot how to fly, which seemed to be his greatest armor against his enemies. However, through Tinkerbelles help, he soon recognizes his life during his childhood that led him to restore his power ad ability to fly. This movie also showed the real feelings of Tinkerbelle towards Peter Pan.
She loved him so dearly that is why she is still loyal to Peter from his younger years up to the moment they meet again. For me, it shows that Peter Pain is the ideal man to become a partner of every woman. However, he is not a man of perfection because he could not able to raise his children with emotional attachment. He thinks that by giving them a good life will give him the credit of being a good provider. Peters being too busy with his work tends to for get his childrens emotional needs. This scenario shows the battle between being human and extra human being.
When Peter came to Never Land, the division of children and adults was depicted. Childrens side is known to be the good ones while the adults side is the opposite the bad ones. Despite of the fact that children in this movie know how to defend themselves, they have no violent armors within them during the time of battle. It shows that the director is sensitive to the limitation of its audiences, which mostly are children.
There are two significant sports that were seen in the movie basketball is the traditional game in Never Land while baseball emerged to become the popular game in the modern period. However, the director showed that baseball was played by the pirates, which means that there is an incorporation of new tradition to the old tradition to justify the difference of the two periods.
The symbolisms of watch, hook, play-doh food, and the baseball and basketball ball played an important role to the characters establishment as well as the storys resolution. The watch symbolizes time. The part where Captain Hook destroyed the watches and clock with the help of Peters son illustrated the impeding of time in their society. I have seen the reason why Peters son also destroyed the clocks is because of his fathers lack of time towards him, her mother, and his sister.
It does not really that there is a crocodile, which Hooks worst enemy aside from Peter Pan but a justification of devastate the transformation of age. At the end of the movie, Captain Hook was seen to be old like Peter Pan. His wig covers his white hair as a representation of old age. Steven Spielbergs point of view to describe Peter Pans adulthood and the concept of being old wanted to convey that everyone gets old and there is no escape with that. Only the memory will obtain childhood through reminiscence of the past.
The hook symbolizes strength and weaknesses in both occurrences. According to the Facts of Piracy, a pirate who lost one of his body parts whether a finger, a hand, a foot, an eye, or a limb means that he is already incapable of doing things. This shows Captain Hook is incapable of doing things around him. It means that he is not a reliable and powerful master at all, which is an irony of his character where everyone treats him as a king of all the pirates.
It was seen that despite of power that lies within his men, he is a man of nowhere. He is nothing as what a true pirate depicts. That is why every time Hook and Peter Pan take their battle, Hook always kneels unto Peters feet not to kill him for he is nothing but an abusive and injustice pirate of his period. Because of this, Captain Hooks hook was his only armor to hide his incapability and immoral personification of king and master of all pirates in the Never Land.
The play-doh food that was seen in the part when Peter and the children of his community are eating their colorful food symbolizes childhood. Robin Williams as Peter Pan showed his life during his childhood when there is no problem, pain, and sorrow only happiness, simple happiness that represents the Never lands simple way of living.
The baseball and basketball ball signifies circle of life. Peters son always played this ball not only because it was his favorite game but it also represents the wheel of survival and living. There are ups and downs, failure and success, happiness and sadness, and discontentment and contentment. All these experiences mould us to become better individuals like Spielberg has conveyed in his movie. It means that life is like a ball in whether situation it may be we can always feel ups and downs in rounded tops of life.
Marjorie Baumgarten stated that Hook breaks the cardinal rule of J.M. Barries timeless fantasy ” it grows up. It is true in literal sense because Spielberg made his main characters Hook and Peter Pan grow old. However, he had justified all his thoughts and arguments as well as the reasons why he showed Peter Pan adult life. It seems that it is a depiction of social reality that everyone needs to understand. It is also good enough to show the children audiences that no person lived in young forever for there is not such thing as this concept. Despite of the fact that this movie is a fiction, Spielberg showed that literature is the mirror of the society that everyone needs to live according to the rule of life.
Spielberg showed what he wanted to convey in his movie. It is a simple justification of age transformation that can happen to Peter Pan once he grows old. Spielberg did not insist of impose that this is the truth behind Peter Pans future but an option or choice to look after if we think of the probable life of Peter Pan once he became a mortal being. In terms of effects, costumes, setting, and characters, Spielberg established the scenarios into a better situation to show the true meaning and essence of Peter Pans personality and life after breaking his immortal being.
The whole movie tackles one thing Peter Pans existence in reality and his depiction of life as a mortal character. There are some flaws that exist but they are not really significant to the development of the character and the resolution. It shows that this movie is not perfect but it has established the important things and arguments that are needed to be discussed. As a whole, the movie is good in terms of technicalities and the directors justification to his claim but in terms of breaking the traditional perspective towards Peter Pan immortal being is somehow hard to accept because many of us already live in a realization that Peter Pan does not transform into a complex and unfamiliar person.
Hinson, Hal. 11 December 1991. Hook. Washington Post. 27 February 2008. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/hookpghinson_a0a725.htm
Canby, Vincent. 11 December 1991. Hook (1991): Review/Film; Peter as a Middle-Aged Master of the Universe. New York Times. 27 February 2008. http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=2&res=9D0CEEDD133EF932A25751C1A967958260&oref=slogin&oref=login
Baumgarten, Marjorie. 13 December 1991. Hook. Austin Chronicles. 27 February 2008. http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Calendar/Film?Film=oid%3a139216
WilczyÅ„ski, Krzysztof. (2008). Facts on Piracy. 27 February 2008. http://www.piratesinfo.com/detail/detail.php?article_id=57