Poignant “IF,” evokes a sense of nostalgia and reflection.(Movie Review.)

by Rosa Parra

“IF” is a poignant tale written and directed by John Krasinski. It stars a stellar cast, including Cailey Fleming, Ryan Reynolds, Fiona Shaw, Steve Carell and Alan Kim. The story revolves around a 12-year-old who embarks on a journey of self-discovery, realizing that she can see everyone’s Imaginary Friends (IFs). Her quest to reunite all the IFs with their respective kids is a heartwarming one.

Based on the trailers, I was going into this film expecting it to be more geared toward children. What I witnessed is a film that’s impactful to any demographic. It’s a beautiful reminder of what it feels like to live life via a pure and imaginative lens. It was a lovely tribute to our inner child and how special it was for our younger self to be capable of creativity. The movie isn’t only a children’s film; it’s for the whole family. It will make you reflect on your childhood dreams and what you would resort to for comfort and safety.

“IF” is reminiscent of the magic we’ve come to expect from Pixar. The film’s score, composed by Michael Giacchino, is as integral to the story as the performances. It’s a score that stays with you long after the movie ends, much like the memorable scores for “Up” and “Inside Out,” both of which were also scored by Giacchino.

The performances in “IF” are nothing short of exceptional. Fleming shines in the lead role, effortlessly transitioning from wonder and skepticism to optimism and joy. Reynolds and Krasinski deliver their roles with precision, adding depth to the narrative. The voice acting is top-notch, with Carell’s portrayal of Blue being a personal favorite. Kim’s few scenes are all memorable, making him a delightful addition to the cast.

There is a storyline that I was surprised to find impacted me the way it did. I was a complete mess (tear ducts fully activated). After we reach a certain age (in this instance, 12 years old), we think we’re adults and that certain activities are no longer appropriate for us (either because we will be made fun of or because society says so), like drawing and coloring or arts and crafts. The movie also emphasizes the power of storytelling and how creating memories is what makes life meaningful and beautiful.

“IF” masterfully captures the whims of a child’s imagination, while gently nudging adults to reconnect with their inner child. It’s a poignant reminder that a child’s perspective is often the purest way to view the world. This movie will tug at your heartstrings with its heartfelt story and leave you humming its memorable score, evoking a sense of nostalgia and reflection.

4.5

Film Critic, Rosa Parra, also contributes to The Daily Chela and Rotten Tomatoes. You can also follow her on X.

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