film/book tie in, book, film, new york winters tale, love story, 2014, romance, tragic love

New York Winters Tale

Advertised as nothing but a love story, with a slightly confusing original trailer hinting at time travel or reincarnation this movie did poorly at the box office. Making only a total of 30.8 million pounds worldwide. Based on the 1983 book of the same title, by Mark Helprin.

Starts with Peter Lake (Colin Farrell) a thief on the run, collecting a few final heists before leaving town. However he breaks into one last home on his way, starts to steal and hears a piano being played. Exploring the sound, he steps on a creaking floorboard as he watches a young woman playing. The sound alerting her to his presence. Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay) discovers he is trying to rob them, bored and lonely she talks to him. Asking what the greatest thing he ever stole was. Peter answers he is starting to think he hasn't stolen it yet (her heart). She invites him to take tea with her, creating a tragic love story between them as he discovers she is suffering from consumption, having meer weeks left to live. He sets himself to try to give her the best last weeks of her life.

When Beverly dies the real story begins. A battle of good VS evil, miracles to be performed and past crimes atoned for as before only hinted at in the opening titles and little snippets here and there. If only this change in the story line had been better advertised I am positive that the movie would have been a blockbuster. Although I do see the point of keeping the 'WOW' factor moment, even I myself am glazing over a lot of the main details to preserve this, a slightly more true picture of the script would have only assisted in this breath-taking tale. It is well worth sticking through the slightly slow start for the completely amazing ending.

I leave you with the quote read over the opening titles, which sets up the whole theme of the story to come:

“Nothing is random, nor will anything ever be, whether a long string of perfectly blue days that begin and end in golden dimness, the most seemingly chaotic political acts, the rise of a great city, the crystalline structure of a gem that has never seen the light, the distributions of fortune, what time the milkman gets up, the position of the electron, or the occurrence of one astonishing frigid winter after another. Even electrons, supposedly the paragons of unpredictability, are tame and obsequious little creatures that rush around at the speed of light, going precisely where they are supposed to go. They make faint whistling sounds that when apprehended in varying combinations are as pleasant as the wind flying through a forest, and they do exactly as they are told. Of this, one is certain.

And yet, there is a wonderful anarchy, in that the milkman chooses when to arise, the rat picks the tunnel into which he will dive when the subway comes rushing down the track from Borough Hall, and the snowflake will fall as it will. How can this be? If nothing is random, and everything is predetermined, how can there be free will? The answer to that is simple. Nothing is predetermined, it is determined, or was determined, or will be determined. No matter, it all happened at once, in less than an instant, and time was invented because we cannot comprehend in one glance the enormous and detailed canvas that we have been given - so we track it, in linear fashion piece by piece. Time however can be easily overcome; not by chasing the light, but by standing back far enough to see it all at once. The universe is still and complete. Everything that ever was is; everything that ever will be is - and so on, in all possible combinations. Though in perceiving it we image that it is in motion, and unfinished, it is quite finished and quite astonishingly beautiful. In the end, or rather, as things really are, any event, no matter how small, is intimately and sensibly tied to all others. All rivers run full to the sea; those who are apart are brought together; the lost ones are redeemed; the dead come back to life; the perfectly blue days that have begun and ended in golden dimness continue, immobile and accessible; and, when all is perceived in such a way as to obviate time, justice becomes apparent not as something that will be, but something that is.”

to see a trailer please click here


Sarah Beth James