Reviewing the Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Transferring Story of Self-Discovery

Jim Broadbent is completely solid because the dislocated pensioner who has given up on life (Image: Leisure One)

The 2012 guide was a smash hit – a film model, thus, inevitable. And its many followers may be reassured that actress-turned-author Rachel Joyce right here movingly adapts her bestseller for the large display screen.

Her hero, Harold, is equally in protected arms with nationwide treasure Jim Broadbent. Retired and low-level depressed, Harold’s twilight years are turned the other way up when he receives a letter. It’s a remaining farewell from a former colleague with terminal most cancers.

Harold isn’t essentially the most emotionally attuned stick within the music field, however even he is aware of his tried reply of ‘Expensive Queenie, Thanks to your letter. I’m very sorry. Finest needs, Harold (Fry)’ is insufficient.

As a substitute, impressed by an opportunity encounter with a stranger, Harold resolves to stroll 600 miles to Queenie’s hospice within the perception that it will ‘save’ her – a lot to the bewilderment of his long-suffering spouse (a career-best Penelope Wilton).

A stirring, life-affirming pilgrimage from despair to hope, it’s unabashedly sentimental – precisely the form of film that critics can get snooty about. However I’ll fortunately admit that I sobbed.

Sure, the script may be too on the nostril, particularly within the opening encounters; sure, the flashbacks to Harold’s historical past together with his son are cringeworthy; and, sure, some components may very well be classed as tacky. However this cheese has a distinctly English flavour – a film equal of Ticklemore. Bittersweet and eccentric.

the unlikely pilgrimage of harold fry film poster

A stirring, life-affirming pilgrimage from despair to hope (Image: Movie 4)

Broadbent is completely solid because the dislocated pensioner who had given up on life, solely to belatedly discover his objective, and Wilton is a revelation. The path isn’t of the identical class, nonetheless. Regardless of some Yasujiro Ozu-like ‘pillow pictures’ that minimize to laundry billowing within the breeze or raindrops on roses (however no whiskers on kittens), that is no basic to rival Ozu’s Tokyo Story. Nevertheless it’s not attempting to be.

It’s a non-religious pilgrim story concerning the energy of hope and religion. A film that celebrates on a regular basis joys and human connection. The right pick-me-up tonic for robust instances.