Today when we see a multitude of Hollywood films either being made based on novels, bestsellers or real life stories, TOMORROWLAND comes as a breadth of air with its rather unique and futuristic theme and story. Directed by Brad Bird, who has over the years proved his mettle as a brilliant storyteller, TOMORROWLAND yet again reinforces that claim. The film follows former boy-genius Frank Walker (George Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, who bound by a shared destiny embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as Tomorrowland. What they must do there changes the world-and them- forever.
Starting off with the line 'Imagine a place with nothing is impossible' TOMORROWLAND commences with a monologue delivered by Academy Award winner George Clooney detailing the premise of the film, and is soon joined by Britt Robertson. From here on the film goes back in time to when Clooney's character Frank was a kid, his experience at the New York World's Fair and his eventual encounter with Athena (Raffey Cassidy). As a child, Frank was a boy genius who was out to change the world with his ideas and innovations. Being one of the chosen few invited to be part of the world of the future, Frank soon becomes a rather established innovator. However as fate would have it, he is exiled from Tomorrowland by Nix (Huge Laurie) for creating something that should never have been. While on one hand Frank lives out the rest of his years exiled to earth Athena, he is still on the lookout for one special individual who will be able to counter what Frank built. In her search Athena finds Casey, who as she puts it, is an optimist. Once enrolled to be part of the chosen few for Tomorrowland, Casey sets off on a journey that spans time, dimensions and feelings. But does the film really manage to hold the audiences's interest with its futuristic thought or does it become yet another sci-fi film... is what we analyze.
Right from the start, TOMORROWLAND has that uncanny Brad Bird directed feel intense, action packed, gripping, and creatively imaginative and emotionally charged cinematic experience complete with an important message that could only be expected in a Disney film. Though the message of good and evil constantly battling for dominance isn't thrust upon the viewer, its inclusion via subtle means has a powerful impact. Apart from this, the film also deals with heavy weight questions like what is mankind's ultimate reason for existence, the possible existence of parallel universes, what does the future really hold and can we actually influence or change the future. Though there are plenty of holes within the theories proposed, there is enough content in the film to keep the viewer engaged. As for the flow of the film, each time the narrative slows down and the viewer is about lose interest, there is a twist that grabs your attention. With ample amounts of CGI and visual effects, TOMORROWLAND can be a visual treat for the kids. However, for the more matured viewer, the film does leave a lot of questions it raised, unanswered, effectively diminishing the overall appeal of the film.
As for the performances in TOMORROWLAND, Academy Award winner George Clooney is at his usual best, Britt Robertson as Casey does an equally good job, but there are instances that could use a makeover. Raffey Cassidy as the child robot from the future puts up a stellar performance that just makes you want her to be seen more on screen. Huge Laurie, though unlike his TV avatar as Dr. House, isn't as wittily sarcastic, however he does put up a good show.
On the whole, TOMORROWLAND can well be summed up in Brad Bird's words, "Any time that there is an empty canvas, there are two ways to look at it: One is emptiness and the other one is wide open to possibility. And that's how I like to look at the future-wide open to possibility", and the same is true for the film as well. In fact TOMORROWLAND if watched with an open mind sans overthinking the plot and theories, definitely makes for a pleasant cinematic experience.