FSM Media

by Dianna Ranere

Review: Slumberland is a Visually Stunning Magical Journey Through Grief

SLUMBERLAND - (L-R) Jason Momoa as FLIP and Marlow Barkley as NEMO. Cr: Netflix © 2022

I was fortunate to watch a screener of the new Netflix movie Slumberland starring Jason Momoa, Marlow Barkley, Chris O’Dowd, Kyle Chandler, Weruche Opia, India de Beaufort, and Humberly González. The movie will premiere on Netflix on November 18th.

A young girl discovers a secret map to the dreamworld of Slumberland, and with the help of an eccentric outlaw, she traverses dreams and flees nightmares, with the hope that she will be able to see her late father again.

SLUMBERLAND – (L-R) Kyle Chandler as PETER and Marlow Barkley as NEMO in Slumberland. Cr: Netflix © 2022

We start off meeting Nemo (Marlow Barkley) and her Dad (Kyle Chandler), who live in a Lighthouse secluded from pretty much everything else. Dad and Nemo are very close, with each night him telling her fantastical stories until she falls asleep. Then one day, tragedy strikes, and Dad is lost at sea never to be seen again. Nemo, who at this point has lost both parents, is sent to live with her equally reclusive Uncle, Phillip (Chris O’Dowd) in the city.

SLUMBERLAND – (L-R) India de Beaufort as MS ARYA, Chris O’Dowd as PHILIP and Marlow Barkley as NEMO in Slumberland. Cr: Netflix © 2022

As to be expected, Nemo feels out of place at Uncle Phillips, and at school. Then there’s Phillip, who has no idea how to raise a child and struggles to get to know his niece, a niece he had never even met before because he was estranged from his brother, her father.

They are both lost.

SLUMBERLAND – Marlow Barkley as NEMO in Slumberland. Cr: Netflix © 2022

One night, Nemo falls asleep and a whole new world opens up to her, it’s the world her Dad has spoken of many nights as he lulled her to sleep. This place is full of adventure and wonderful people and creatures but also has “nightmares” that are seemingly coming for her. All she wants is to see her Father again, so she is willing to go through anything in this fantasy world to see him.

In “Slumberland” she meets Flip (Jason Momoa) a sarcastic, funny, and sometimes mean to her half-creature, half-man who steals his way through Slumberland. He’s also a wanted man who is being ruthlessly sought after.

SLUMBERLAND – (L-R) Marlow Barkley as NEMO and Jason Momoa as FLIP in Slumberland. Cr: Netflix © 2022

When they meet, he is looking for a map in the lighthouse, and he definitely wants nothing to do with Nemo. Eventually, that changes, as he reveals that he went on many adventures with Nemo’s Dad and reluctantly he decides to let her tag along.

From here the movie is one amazing adventure after another. I really enjoyed it, however, the subject matter is a bit dark with death and grief playing a big part. It really feels like a story of two people, Nemo and Phillip coming to terms with loss and how they both found their way through it with Nemo losing her Dad and Phillip losing both his brother and himself.

Jason Momoa as FLIP in Slumberland. Cr: Netflix © 2022

I will add that Jason Momoa as Flip was an interesting watch because I don’t think I knew just how funny he was. He played this campy, silly part with ease which added some much-needed levity to the heavy theme of the movie. I do look forward to seeing him in more comedic roles.

But my favorite character of all was Pig, he is ADORABLE and I feel like there needs to be a stuffed toy of him asap!

See Slumberland on Netflix on November 18th.

Slumberland is directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire & Mockingjay), written by David Guion and Michael Handelman (Night at the Museum; Secret of the Tomb) and produced by Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, David Ready and Francis Lawrence. The film also stars Weruche Opia, India De Beaufort, and Humberly Gonzalez.