Directed by: Don Swanson
Written by: Aaron Dunbar
Length: 78 minutes
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A Wish For Giants
After collapsing on the school playground and being taken to the hospital, the prognosis isn't good for Roxie (Alexa Mechling). Only just a teenager, it's come to light that she doesn't have much time left. There will probably be no college for her. No husband. No kids. None of the thing we call life to make a good one. There's only whatever awaits on the other side of the veil. For Sophie (Naysa Altmeyer), granting the wish of this girl is important. That's an understatement. After meeting her, she feels the two share a connection of sorts. Watching Roxie slowly wither away, surely isn't much different than watching the same of her own sister. It's a devastating experience that would drive anyone to near anything, to give this little girl what she wants. The problem is that Roxie doesn't want what other kids want. She doesn't want to meet a rock star or movie hunk. She wants to meet Bigfoot and won't accept any substitute. To make matters worse, she simply knows Sophie will be able to lead her to the Yeti in question, leaving Sophie in a tough spot. Tough enough to accept the help of Derrick Boehm (Connor McClain) who as luck would have it, is a self centered ego maniac. She's looking to do a good deed. He's looking to do her. The situation that is, A Wish For Giants, is a complicated one on the surface. Once you scratch past those shallow complications though, the true nature of the title is revealed. It's not complicated at all. It's not messy. This title is a feel good film with a hint of magic thrown in for good measure. The aim is to "sap up the room" as the tender hearted get all warm and fuzzy. Welcome to feel good films 101.
A Wish For Giants is a micro, feature length film. As such, it should get instant praise simply for being completed. Another notch in the belt comes by way of being completed, and, being coherent in any way whatsoever. What's impressive is that this is actually a pretty decent title. The expected dodgy production elements are present and accounted for, but mostly due to technical elements stemming from a lack of cash flow. All thrown on the table though, Aaron Dunbar's story comes through loud and clear and the titles director, Don Swanson, does a fabulous job with the tools given. I did wonder how this impossible scenario would wrap itself up. In my mind there was really only one of two ways it all could have went. Dunbar's solution was not only the perfect way to go, but done really well. Adding a touch of wonder that offsets the overall grim nature of the film. Excellent choice. It all works well but as the credits rolled, I still felt like something was missing. Even now, I can't quite figure out what.
I do find myself wondering how much different the book is from the film? A Wish For Giants is based off a novel by Aaron Dunbar. Aside from maybe some character development, since Dunbar himself wrote the film, I imagine it's a good translation. Still. This may be an excellent reason to get myself a copy of the print version. Find out personally. Returning to the film itself, there's always something that warms the blood with this type of story. Even knowing that there's no way things are going to turn out OK. It's definitely about the journey, not the destination. This hasn't been forgotten and wisely, we never get to see the final outcome for Roxie. Like the magical elements of the movie itself, we may think we know what comes next... but who's to say? Not including those final, saddening moments for Roxie, keeps hope alive as the credits roll. Even if we're sure we know what comes next.
I can easily recommend A Wish For Giants to anyone looking for a solid title. Not every film has to be a Hollywood blockbuster to entertain. Perfection is not required to enjoy a movie. Favorite scene? Roxie explaining why she wants to meet Bigfoot.