Goodbye Christopher Robin: Winnie the Pooh will never be the same

Will Tilston and Margot Robbie in Goodbye Christopher Robin.
Will Tilston and Margot Robbie in Goodbye Christopher Robin.

THE relationship between author A. A. Milne and his inspiration for the Winnie The Pooh character and books is fleshed out in this handsome looking, but lightly treaded film.

Back home in England from battle in World War I and struggling to readjust to his regular life, author Alan Milne (Domhnall Gleeson) is battling writer’s block.

His socialite wife Daphne (Margot Robbie) soon pops out a child, Christopher Robin, but being disappointed that he is not a girl, she puts dresses on him and palms him off to the hired help Olive (Kelly Macdonald).

When Christopher is still a child, Alan is inspired by his imagination and toys, and begins creating the Winnie the Pooh characters and friends, with Christopher’s help, which turn out to be a worldwide hit.

But sharing this special connection with his Dad takes a toll on Christopher, and the richer they get, the more distant his parents become.

Goodbye Christopher Robin is as light as toy stuffing but raises interesting questions over a morally ambiguous situation.

Christopher’s childhood and imagination were exploited, but they brought so much joy to the world in the wake of such dark times.

The mounting media and global attention thrust upon this youngster is cringe worthy, reminiscent of how Hollywood child stars are now treated.

And yet, Christopher never asked for this.

Gleeson is serviceable as the author and Robbie is more compelling as the stage mum from hell, but it is Will Tilston as the boy at eight years old that is a pure joy to watch; his natural cuteness and charm will have you beaming.

There is something very student film about Alan’s war flashbacks and the awkward way the goofy brainstorming between father and son for characters’ names is handled.

Still, you won’t look at Winnie The Pooh books the same way again.

Goodbye Christopher Robin (PG)
Directed by: Simon Curtis
Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald
Four stars
In cinemas today

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