IF Review

With spring finally in full bloom here in the UK, it's time for a May half-term movie. This year's pre-summer hit is IF (Directed by John Krasinski). I'll admit they first time I heard the title of this film, I initially concluded it was a horror film, but IF actually stands for Imaginary Friend and it is certainly not a horror film - what a relief! Thanks to Paramount Pictures UK I attended a preview screening of IF over the weekend and cannot wait to share my review with you all. IF is a must watch at the cinema this spring, read on to see why in this spoiler free review.
Check out my Disney Summer Watchlist HERE

The narrative revolves around young teen girl Bea (Cailey Fleming), who is going through a pretty turbulent time when she suddenly crossing paths with an imaginary friend named Blossom (Voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Seeing Blossom leads to Bea meeting Cal (Ryan Reynolds) a man that lives in Bea's Grandmothers (Fiona Shaw) building, who is trying to re-home imaginary friends when their children no longer need them. The main cast is surprisingly small, consisting of Bea, her grandmother, her Father (John Krasinski) who is undergoing hospital treatment, Cal and Benjamin (Alan Kim) an accident-prone child whom Bea meets in hospital. There are a few twists throughout the movie, one of which you can call pretty early on, but that does not undermine the reveal. Whilst Bea is a great protagonist, I did at times think the film could have spoken louder to adult viewers if Bea had in fact been in her late 20s or older, but clearly the filmmakers wanted IF to be accessible to all viewers. Overall, the narrative and cast may be compact in nature, but it's thought provoking and emotional impact is impressive. 

Whilst the physical cast is small the voice cast is packed, featuring the talents of: Steve Carell, Emily Blunt, Awkwafina, Blake Lively, George Clooney, Matt Damon, Maya Rudolph, Bradley Cooper and more! These actors voice a wide variety of imaginary friends, the film perfectly capturing the creativity of the IF's, they are not flawless, logical creations of adults, rather they are random and fun, straight from the creative mind of a child. Such as a giant purple creature that doesn't resemble any certain animal, a flower in a suit, a melting marshmallow, an ice cube in a glass and a slimy green blob. The animators do a wonderful job of incorporating these characters into the 'real world' setting of NYC. Allowing them to interact with the world around them and with Bea and Cal seamlessly. 

IFs real power comes from its messaging. The films' central theme is asking us to remember our inner child, to embrace what once made us happy, our dreams. Asking us to not conform with society's narrative of what being an adult is. We see Bea on the pinnacle between childhood and adulthood, forcing herself to grow up. Through her and other adults in the film we are taught that growing up doesn't mean we have to let go of all the things we adored as a child - even if that is an imaginary friend. The film will trigger moments of self-reflection, moments that will cause a lump in your throat - if you are a crier take tissues! But it is also full of so much joy and laughter that will be shared by child and adult viewers. 

Overall, IF is a heart-warming film. You'll be thinking about this film long after you leave the cinema. In fact I even saw a poster for IF whilst shopper the other day and it made me smile, the narrative leaving a mark on me. A film that fully captures childhood wonder whilst asking us to question what we lost when we grew up. I can't wait for you to experience IF for yourselves when it releases at cinemas on the 17th May 2024.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thank you for reading xx 

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