Sometimes when I am looking for a Netflix DVD to rent, I do a search by actor. This time it was Helen Mirren (never a bad choice) and it turned up a PG rated movie that was ostensibly for children, but as so often happens, was entertaining on a much deeper level for adult viewers. The basic premise is that there are certain humans in the world who have a very special skill: they are called Silver-Tongues and whenever they read a book aloud, the characters in the book come to life in the world where the reader lives. Needless to say this leads to all sorts of trouble. The main character in the movie is a dad who reads scary children’s stories to his young daughter, and dreadful people are released into the world as a result. Unfortunately there is another complication: whenever a character is released from a book, a real life human must take their place in the book, and this is how the dad’s wife is swept away into a rare book named Inkheart. The copy of Inkheart that he was reading is destroyed in a fire, (of course?), so this triggers the frantic search for another copy so the beautiful wife and mother can be returned to her family.
Sound hokey? Maybe. But I am a sucker for morality plays, double entendres, and brilliant actors who take a refreshing break from the world of adult scripts to indulge in a romp through a fantasy world which may, in the long run, have better life lessons than any crime thriller script-writer could dream up. If you are willing to admit that sometimes you just want the good guys to win, and would like to see Helen Mirren cut loose, rent this film.
As the lead character warns his daughter thirteen minutes into the program, “The written word, it’s a powerful thing. You have to be careful with it.”
I couldn’t agree more.