Friday, April 16, 2010

The Boy Who Could Fly

Following the death of her father, Milly moves into a new neighborhood with her younger brother and her mother. There, she sees Eric, an autistic boy who lives with his alcoholic uncle, and who has a strange habit of standing on the roof of his house pretending to fly.

Eric doesn't communicate with anyone, but with Milly he makes a slow progress. First, he mimics her movements, and eventually he smiles on his own. On a school field trip, Milly falls off a bridge while trying to pick a rose. She wakes up in the hospital with no serious injuries, and is convinced that Eric can fly, that he caught her as she fell.

As the story progresses, the audience learns that Milly's father was terminally ill and committed suicide because he didn't want to make his family go through treatment with him. Eric's parents died in a car crash, and somehow, in the instant of their deaths, he knew; he did the only thing he knew how to in order to save them (become an airplane), and he's been doing it ever since. The fact that two children have experienced such tragedy and then come together transforms what could be a depressing film into a highly uplifting one.

Clearly drawing inspiration from the Peter Pan story, The Boy Who Could Fly proves itself to be more than the usual '80s teenage fare. Sure, it may be corny at times, but somehow it manages to balance the weighty issues of suicide, mental illness, and bullying with those of love and understanding. If only all real-life stories worked out this way.

1 comment:

Vladigogo said...

I have never heard of this film. You learn something new everyday.