My in-flight movie viewing tends to include at least one tear-jerker, so it had to be the case even this time. After a few relatively light views on the way out and in (should I reveal here that I shed a tear or two while watching “Murder on the Orient Express”?), I chose Goodbye Christopher Robin.
A narrative that starts in World War I and ends in World War II, you’d think I’d have known that I’d cry buckets and buckets of tears. But I thought a story that’s about Christopher Robin, the boy who inspired the Winnie the Pooh stories would hold some of the magic of the fiction.
Grounded in facts and reality, the film narrates how the famous teddy bear came into being and how it destroyed one boy’s childhood…or as he says at the end of the film “growing up.” That the wars took away so much more than lives wasn’t news to me, but to see that it took away while giving the world one of the most popular and magical books of children’s literature has left me heartbroken. Heartbroken that A.A.Milne was able to emerge from the horrors of the first war with a book that gave hope to so many, only to end up robbing his own child (already deprived of parents’ love because of the ravages of the war) of so much.
I am known to sob my way through most films touching the loss of humanity, but this one, I think, beat all records. No other film has touched me so much. Yes, it made me sob enough to make fellow passengers look at me in concern and the air hostess ask if all is fine. But it’s a film I would ask everyone to see.
See it, because you need to know what war does to us, what it can and will do. See it, because you need to know the pain behind the magic, if only to appreciate it all the more. See it, because it’s a film that will touch your heart.
P.S Post-flight research made me realise that the film has been dramatised and that many facts have been distorted, so if you’re a stickler for the truth, here’s one article that compares the facts as shown in the film to reality.