Mike Le Han directed, produced and co-wrote this enchanting short tale about a little girl and her search for some answers. The questions? Did her mother love her before giving her up to adoptive parents? Who is Mrs. Peppercorn? And where in blazes is the butcher and candlestick maker???
Mrs. Peppercorn's Magical Reading Room (2011)
Directed by Mike Le Han
Starring Emily Coggin, Margaret Jackman and Kerry Downing
Coming in at an admirable 25 minutes, my first impression was that this movie could in no way successfully weave a tale and then conclude it within that time span. Well, Mr. Crow, bon appetit! Le Han managed an excellent job of establishing the necessary character elements while simultaneously introducing the audience to the mystical and isolated town of Black Lake. The town serves as a character all its own, with its dark and unexplored alleyways and its eerie silence. The time setting is quaintly unclear, with Jeep Wranglers and cobblestone streets, adding yet another interesting facet to this strange but fantastical story.
The characters, as mentioned, are brief but well received. Coggin delivers a soft and noteworthy performance, balancing her character between too timid and too reckless. Her curiosity coupled with her politeness has the audience interested in her adventures without the stigma that usually accompanies child actors.
The music was beatifically composed, and played a larger role in the film then many might think. With so few characters, and little dialogue in some scenes, the music is commissioned to carry the film at some points, and Kliesch achieves this with an outstanding score.
In conclusion, Mrs. Peppercorn's Magical Reading Room is worth a viewing, and should be considered a jumping off point for a possible television series or wide release project. Le Han (who co-wrote the story with Helen Le Han) takes a short tale and garnishes it with amazing special effects, moving scores, and competent characters. A lovely, simple story in a world where "complexity" and "anti-heroism" is the new entertainment.
To view the film, visit http://www.mrspeppercornthemovie.co.uk/