Bridge to Terabithia – A DVD Review

If you have not had the chance to see this movie, go see it. Rent it. Buy it. Whatever. If you're not familiar with the book or the story, the twist will catch you offguard. The trailer, as I recall, seemed to hint at a Narnia-esque story, but it was nothing of such at all.

Terabithia was about the growing pains of Leslie and Jesse, two middle schoolers who developed deep love between each other, and how they coped together with their pre-teen unrests. The story drew you into how their lives changed as soon as they met after encountering the school bullies. The story was told from Jesse's point of view, the talented introvert who's blossoming artist was in danger of ever getting buried by the burdens of a young man's traditional familial responsibilities. His parents kept telling him to stop daydreaming and, instead, to focus in contributing to the family in practical ways since they had money problems. Jesse was constantly torn between his parents' needs and his growing passion for his art.

Enter Leslie into his life. A new girl in school and his new neighborhood who was growing up unconventionally. Her family did not believe in television and many other conventional, sometimes unnecessary, home furnishings. As a result, Leslie used her deep imagination to entertain herself and to deal with adversity such as when being beaten by bullies. She showed Jesse the power of imagination as they explored the woods near their house. It was here that they made up a place they call Terabithia – their place, their magical kingdom complete with mystical warriors protecting them from nearby creatures of mayhem. Jesse succumbed to Leslie's lead and fully embroiled himself in a world that only exists between them.

By this time, I anticipated and hoped that Terabithia would become real and the two would be able to escape their problems together. I was really pulling for a cheesy happy ending for these two. But something terrible happened. I will not give it out because it's such a big part of story. And it does make you cry. For now, let's finish this review by saying that in the end, our young artist with Leslie's help was able to free his mind and enlighten another with his imagination.

The acting was superb, not just from the leads Josh Hutcherson (Jesse) and AnnaSophia Robb (Leslie), but also from the supporting casts including Zooey Deschannel (Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy) and Robert Patrick (Terminator 2). The movie had plenty of sticky situations typical in middle school. It's a perfect setting on how two people can find each other from amongst the turmoil and how the right relationship can enrich a life forever.