Slumberland

Review: Don’t Sleep On ‘Slumberland’

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SLUMBERLAND (2022)

A charming adventure that invokes a dreamlike experience for viewers, Slumberland is a gorgeous journey of coping with loss and moving forward in a visually erratic, yet pleasing film.

After the death of her father, a young girl (Marlow Barkley) teams with a mysterious outlaw (Jason Momoa) to navigate the dreamworld of Slumberland in order to see her father once more. Barkley is marvelous in each and every scene, the script asking a lot from her early on and peppering her character with a strong optimism that often can lead to disappointment. Her strength in the role is evident from the very start and never more so than when she is opposite a jovial Momoa, who is clearly having fun as his ridiculous character. Though this isn’t the deepest film you will find about loss, I don’t believe that was the intent. Instead, Francis Lawrence’s Slumberland is an appealing, accessible piece of art that should connect with all ages, but especially youngsters.

The set design and visual effects of the film are top-notch, not a penny spared to bring the traversed dreamworlds to life. Many of the settings induce feelings of whimsy and adventure while others, when called upon, set the tone for the more serious danger at hand. As an adaptation of the source material, I can’t speak to the authenticity, however what I can speak to is the constant presence of engrossing dialogue and dazzling visuals that hooked me into the journey and never let go. A special shoutout is deserved for Chris O’Dowd who takes on a role that largely has him on the sidelines, but is a character who sees great growth and development as he provides guidance and comfort for Barkley’s young heroine. In the end, Slumberland delivers a pleasing spectacle that deserves recognition for its delicate presentation of the subject matter and stunning visual adventure.

Slumberland is now streaming on Netflix.

Rating: 5/5

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