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Jessie and the Elf Boy

UK 2022
produced by
Matthew Todd, Nathan Todd, Philip Todd, John Walkinshaw, Tom Walkinshaw for Fellowship Film
directed by Philip Todd
starring Julia Brown, Huck Whittle, Gail Watson, Belle Jones, Eloise King Anderson, Nathan Hamilton, Ian Laing, Neil Bratchpiece, Naomi Stirrat, Calum Barbour, Angela Craig, Hanalei Whittle, Kirsten Joy Todd, Jessica Innes, Lorraine Ross, Polina Sulim, James Cullen, Charlotte Todd, Miriam Todd, Samara Shah, Donald Brown, Lianna McCormack, Liz Miller, Marianna Coletta, Rachel Taylor, Fiona Stewart, Rebekah Harvey, Claire McCracken, Rachel Raftery, Dorothea Todd, Rachel Zylstra, Seylan Baxter, Elizabeth Noelle Japhet, Lalida Murray, Sean Grieve, Sophia Lewis, Lise Cosme, Charlie Timms, Elle Prudence, Jake McGarry, Murdo MacLeod, Matthew Todd, Charles Donnelly, Catherine Brown, Tia Watson
written by Philip Todd, Matthew Todd, Lindsey Stirling, music by David Shaw

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Many years ago, a little girl (Hanalei Whittle) got lost in the woods - but attracted the attention of an elf boy, Ghillie Dhu (Huck Whittle), who took her back to civilisation and also gave her a stone so she could see him as he's normally invisible to human eyes. From now on, the girl and Ghillie Dhu meet regularly and have lots of fun roaming the forest together - until the girl's mum (Samara Shah) decides to move to the city and pretty much has to drag the girl with her under tears. This leaves Ghillie Dhu heartbroken, and for many years he returns to the girl's empty house, for memories' sake and in hope that she might return ... but she never does, but two burglars (Neil Bratchpiece, Naomi Stirrat) show up one day to give the place a good sweep - not that they find anything valuable, but they're not the sharpest either -, and somehow Ghillie Dhu, invisible to them, gets mixed up with the loot and is carried to the city - where he decides to seize the opportunity and go look for the girl - and he thinks he has found her in Jessie (Julia Brown), a young beauty salon trainee who happens to wear the stone that makes Ghillie Dhu visible around her neck. Now she claims she has never met Ghillie Dhu before but really takes to the boy - until he gives a surprise celebrity client (Polina Sulim) a really weird hairdo, which the client really loves and reports about it on TV ... much to the dismay of Jessie's boss Amelia (Belle Jones), who has taken an immediate dislike to Jessie as Jessie's the owner of the salon Valerie's (Gail Watson) daughter - and Amelia suspects nepotism even though mother and daughter are completely estranged. But of course, money talks, so Amelia makes Jessie one of the store's junior hair stylists but has her work in the back room, being somewhat freaked out by Jessie's talent. This is of course very ok for Jessie as it's not actually her who's doing the styling but Ghillie Dhu. However, Jessie's a favourite with all the clients, so much so that the salon achieves some popularity, which makes Valerie take notice and come look after the salon - and find out that Amelia has embezzled money for years. Amelia quits just before getting fired, with nothing but revenge on her mind, and she intends to dish out vengeance to mother and daughter in equal measure. Too bad then that Jessie has just had a falling out with Ghillie Dhu, because she could presently use all the help she can get ...

 

In essence, nothing ground-breaking on neither a visual nor narrative level, and I'd even go so far and say it's a bit on the cheesy side - but then again, this was a film for the whole family, and the word "elf" in the title might already suggest it was made with also our younger (though not too young) folks in mind. And for what it is, this film is completely lovely, it carries a very charming message without just trying to hammer it home, and most important of all, it doesn't try to just talk down to its younger viewers but tells a story that's engaging and intelligent enough for viewers of (almost) all ages, with exactly the kind of humour that will leave neither young or old embarrassed. So not a masterpiece maybe, but good light entertainment while it lasts all the same.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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