Some people enjoy reading. Some of them like to read out loud. And in Inkheart, some of them are gifted to able to bring written fictional characters to life; they’re called Silvertongue. And some of them aren’t aware of their ability until it’s too late.
Mo (Brendan Fraser) is one of them. He likes to read his only daughter bedtime stories until one fateful night when villain characters from Inkheart busted out into the room and threatened the little family’s lives; the night when Mo’s wife, Resa (Sienna Guillory), magically disappeared into the book.
For the next nine years, Mo is searching the whole country for the rare book, hoping to read his wife back to life. However, he’s constantly prodded by Dustfinger (Paul Bettany) – who saved him and his daughter Meggie (Eliza Hope Bennett) that night – pestering to be read back into the book, back into his own little family. For some inexplicable reason, Mo is the only person who’s able to do that, yet he doesn’t know how to do it.
Well, I guess you ought to just finish the whole book – each book has an ending right? By the time you reach the conclusion, I bet all characters will vanish.
Frustrated of Mo’s perpetual refusal, Dustfinger collaborates with Inkheart’s main villain Capricorn (Andy Serkis) to capture him and his family and force him to read them back. Well, fairytales may sound so magically beautiful that some of us wish we could live in it, while some of those made-up characters find our world more alluring instead. So, Capricorn betrays Dustfinger just like that as his initial purpose is to bring his best-friend, the ultimate immortal villain Shadow into human world and rule us all. (Think of reviving Lord Voldemort and let him and his miniatures rule over our real world. SCARY.)
As Mo refuses to take on the job, they discover that Meggie inherits Mo’s ability – and just as succinct as Mo is. There they go: capture and dress her in that freaky broken-white night gown (that might have been ripped off of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride), stage and have her read the page where Shadow is summoned, to everybody’s fears.
[Ending discussion ahead] But of course the solution to the problem is super easy: alter the original story and read it out loud. Besides, it doesn’t have to be written on paper – as long as it’s written down, anywhere would be fine. You can create your own ending too, by the way. Yeah right. If Mo knows that Meggie can just write and read her own story, isn’t it an easy answer as to how to retrieve Resa back? Why search forever for a copy of Inkheart when Mo can do it within minutes? Silly.
I think now I know why Roger Ebert wrote that Inkheart may scare and refrain children from reading storybooks in the future.
Director: Iain Softley
Production: Warner Bros Pictures/New Line Cinema, 2008
Cast: Brendan Fraser, Eliza Hope Bennett, Paul Bettany, Sienna Guillory, Andy Serkis
Genre: Fantasy, Teens