Posted: 01/25/2009

 

Inkheart

by Laura Tucker



“The written word is a powerful thing. You better be careful with it.”


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Like the saying says, “It takes one to know one.” As a writer, I figured out the answer to the dilemma in Inkheart, as after all it’s a story of the power of the written word, so a writer is going to figure out the answer just as the writer of the story does. Yet it didn’t stop me from enjoying the film, even though I’m not usually one to dabble in science fiction/fantasy. To borrow a cliché, it kept me glued to my seat, as well as whispering to my son what I thought might happen next.


We’ve all heard some powerful speakers. They can read off their notes and make it seem so meaningful. In Inkheart these people have a name, Silvertongue. Brendan Fraser plays the Silvertongue in this film, Mo. When his daughter Meggie was just three years old, Mo read the story Inkheart to her and her mother, Resa, He unknowingly brought some of the characters of the book to life, but with a price. Just as something comes out of the book, something else must take its place. His wife disappeared that night, and he realized she had gone into the book.


From the first few moments of the film, it had me thinking. Very noticeable was the fact that Fraser has an American accent, yet Eliza Bennett, the actress that plays his daughter, has an English accent. They’re traveling around Europe searching for a copy of Inkheart to possibly read Reba back out of the book. They land on the doorstep of Mo’s Aunt Elinor (Helen Mirren), who again has an English accent. It was somewhat maddening, but I supposed it was better than having Fraser take on an English accent that might have sounded fake, or including some lame explanation. In addition, Eliza seems much more mature than the twelve years she is given credit for in the movie. In truth, the actress will turn 17 in two months.


Mo, Meggie, and Elinor are captured by those that Mo had brought out of the book nine years ago. Capricorn (Andy Serkis) enjoys his time here on earth immensely, (“I love duct tape!”), and would like to turn this into a kingdom for himself, but needs another of his cohorts brought out from the book to do so. Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) doesn’t enjoy his time here, and only wants to return to the pages of the book to the world that he knows. To accomplish these things, they both need a silvertonue to read the story.


The silvertongue, his daughter, and his aunt are thrown into a cell alongside other creatures brought out of books, Rapunzel, one of the 40 Thieves, flying monkeys, and a unicorn, etc. Capricorn had been working with another silvertongue who didn’t do as complete of a job as Mo. He stuttered when he read, making it definitely uncomfortable for me. I grew up with a stuttering problem of my own and am not able to watch movies where they make light of it. It’s too painful.


Yet, even though all those factors existed for me to not enjoy Inkheart, figuring out the solution to the problem, finding the accents and ages, and drawing back on painful memories of my own, I still couldn’t tear myself away from this movie. I was riveted to my seat. It was an excellent story within a story, with an even better cast. Fraser had told Paul Fischer in his interview that there might possibly be two sequels, Inkspell and Inkdeath, and I think the story will lend itself perfectly to a trilogy.


Laura Tucker  is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.



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