Wish I Was Here


Review. Wish I Was Here

Dreams are odd. I’m not talking the dreams that stalk your sleep, rather the ones that haunt your everyday. When I was younger, I didn’t really have dreams. I had tangible answers to the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Teacher, Actor, Fireman. But nothing that really drove me. Nothing that consumed me. Obviously, that changed. (Hello.)

Wish I Was Here is the directorial follow up to Garden State. It was one of the first major crowdfunded projects and was written by Zach Braff and his brother, Adam. None of that really matters. Wish I Was Here tackles the idea of dreams.

Aiden Bloom, played by Braff, stands in front of an endless horizon. His arms are outstretched, part desperation, part religious reverence. He’s run away from the problems at home in search of an epiphany and as morning breaks, all he gets is a really good idea. In those few minutes, Wish I Was Here faces every obstacle it puts in the character’s way, with minimalism and beauty.

Belief, dreams and religion are three interwoven and interchangeable themes that Wish I Was Here skips between with breezy confidence and while at times the film threatens to lose its gentle grip, it tackles all three with aplomb. There’s an over-riding message of small victories but amongst the goosebumbs, the wry smiles and the mesmerising frailty that are woven throughout, there’s every chance you’ll be too busy questioning your own dreams, or lack thereof. Wish I Was Here presents escapism but is also a terrifying mirror into your own ambitions.

The plot progresses and the character development is all taken to the edges of possibility. Later in the film Aiden is told belief doesn’t need to be tied down in semantics. God doesn’t need to be a deity. Belief can be the same endless universe that he looked up at earlier in the film and something within me clicks. As I walk home, I realise that for the first time in a long while, it all makes more sense.

There’s wisdom in tragedy. While Wish I Was Here focuses on the minute details of The Bloom’s lives, it does this to tackle the big questions. While it doesn’t busy itself with definitive answers, the suggestions are more than enough to satisfy the audience, whether you’re a dreamer or not.


~ by justdip on 21/09/2014.

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