Saturday, September 29, 2018

Review on Film "The Book of Henry"


This film story, The Book of Henry is American drama film. The story was directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Gregg Hurwitz. It was well played by Jaeden Lieberher who took the main character in the story as whiz kid name Henry Carpenter. Meanwhile, the little brother of Henry Carpenter character which is Peter Carpenter was played by Jacob Tremblay and the actress name Xiaomi Watts play the single mother character, Susan Carpenter in the story. The film was noted to be premiered at the Los Angeles Film on June 14, 2017 and officially released in theatres by Focus Feature on June 16, 2017.

“The Book of Henry (2017)”, it is a tale story of genius kid name Henry Carpenter (Jaeden Lieberher)  who Henry lived together with his feisty, affectionate, video gaming playing single mom, Susan (Naomi Watts) and his little brother, Peter (Jacob Tremblay). Her single mother works as waitress in diner while funnily this brainy 11 years old kid, Henry goes to school into a normal school but at the same time he is someone who has this unimaginable of ‘know everything’ about everything. He knows how to handle and play with the stock market and win it. Not even that, he handles almost everything, include the financial of the house. It is something in which can be seen that it is totally beyond of him pulling his weight but his mother totally rely on him on things which also include with house bills until she can’t cope to all of it by her own will, especially after Henry started to fall sick. Henry need to cope with his sudden disease that has connection with his brain. Side of this film story, it may goes with the fact there is an abuser neighbour, from the next door house. The girl name Christina was getting abused by her stepfather, Glen who is also police commissioner. None alternative can be carry out after Henry failed to make the social protective worker and principal to get involved with Christina's abuse case, thus surprisingly, Henry has written inside of this one red notebook which tell the whole plan of him to murder Glen and he is totally plan it out for her mother to proceed the murder. The details plan was carried out by his mother, Susan but unfortunately the murder plan was not done by Susan because she just realized that Henry is just not different like other children who seems to follow up with emotions and making unwise decision when doing something.


Based on this film, it seems like the character Henry more mature than his childish mother who throws herself into the video games. Henry even lectures on her mother, Susan on parenting stuff in which he knows the best. For the viewers who still don’t get any chance to watch the film and only watch the film trailer might saying Henry is totally a caring child towards her mother and caring older brother to his little brother, Peter, however, sometimes Henry can be such a judgemental whiz kid. It can be seen through in the classroom scene where Henry was mocking his classmate’s dream which is becoming a dodge ball champion. Frankly, it can be quite annoying on how he becoming the unendurable kid who know-it-all.

It is badly enough to find out that Henry suddenly got sick as he had brain tumour in the film and the possibilities of him to survive was very low. On the second thought, I think the main reason for God letting the pain and disease on the innocent child like Henry due to the intention on wanting Susan realise that it is her turn now to play her role as Henry’s mother. Plus, it is will be a life lesson for both Henry and Susan too, as Henry sometimes can be over-exaggerate on himself as the genius kid and Susan was depending too much on Henry from the start was totally wrong.

On the positive side, Henry really has such good intention on helping his mother especially on the home financial. He just wants her mother, Susan to stop working as waitress in the diner while having the financial comfort and not to forget to buy any nice things for their family. Henry even willing to handle and pay all the house bills and make his family rich with his investments on the stock market since he is a genius stock marketer. However, with the good intention that he had towards her mother, at the same time, we as the readers might feel like he was undermining Susan’s independence to be Henry and Peter’s mother and parents to both of them. In addition, Susan is also at her fault as she is the one who supposedly should not letting the role as their mother completely to her child, Henry.

Furthermore, on the good side, it is truly glad to know that Henry was willing to help his classmate, Christina from her abuser father. From there, we can see that Henry hate to see people around him getting hurt and he always want to put everyone in ease no matter what. According to some scenes from the film, it clearly shows that there are many efforts that has been done by Henry just to help Christina. He even wrote the plan that he had on his mind into his secret red notebook just to kill Christina’s stepfather, Glen. Fortunately, he is not the one who carried out the steps of the plan or he might end up with consequences by being the one who will be punished and enter the juvenile school instead.

But, he told his little brother to give their mother’s the red notebook which include tape and those outline plan, which means, Henry was totally full of intention to kill Glen no matter what and scarily, he might immediately carry out the plan if he is still alive and survive from the brain tumour. He also might done it without people consent especially his family. Thus, obviously this is the real proof to the audiences with the fact that even though the genius kid like Henry who are good in mathematics, financial stuff and stock market, he also can do some stupid and unwise decisions in his life, because after all, he is only 11 years old kid.

There is still one touching sibling’s moment in the hospital scene where both Henry and Peter had some quick and teary conversation. The moment when Henry told Peter to give their mother his notebook he stress on his sentence, “You need to do this. You’re the person that I trust the most.” From his sentence, it can be see that family is important and his mother doesn’t have anyone else besides Peter if there is anything happen on him. He even reminded Peter to take a good care on their mother.

In addition, we should not forget to how Susan try her best to find other option than easily full fill Henry’s dying wish to kill Glen. Henry is really being creepy with the fact that he done the research and completely details on finding the right bullet, gun and give the exact shooting position to shoot Glen from the house tree. There is one scene where Susan unexpectedly saw Glen was entering Christina’s room in the night. She was freaking out so she quickly reached for the phone and dialled her neighbour, Glen. All she wants to do is to save Christina from getting abuse and rap by Glen. I bet there is also the moment where she decided to proceed with Henry’s ridiculous and psycho murder plan while listening to Henry’s instruction tape carefully.

It is actually too bad that Henry refuses to enter the special school. There is one scene in the classroom in which his homeroom teacher asked Henry to remind her the reason why he refuses to change to the special whiz school. It can be seen that Henry do has his own reason to refuse it so nobody can blocked him away. Frankly, Henry might learn and experience something new if someone do place him on the right school. Plus, Henry also deserve to get a chance to blast his brilliant brain and investment skills and he might develop more than that if he get to sit among other brainy kids. He is not supposed to handle the house bills all alone at this such young age.


In summary, the movie was actually a charming, adventurous and amazing story film in spite of the many of bad reviews. There are many messages include the positives and negatives but too bad for the film critics to miss such a great movie. From overall characters, we can see Susan is actually do trying hard to become good single parent for Peter and Henry even though she do admit sometimes she is not a good in parenting for Henry. Susan really trying to work on things that sometimes life can be such demanding towards her. Meanwhile, Peter, he always admiring and idolizing his genius brother, Henry but at the same time, the moment when Susan was breaking down towards Henry’s health, Peter was the one who lift up the spirit of her mother by saying, “Don’t do what Henry do. Do what you will do” and he keep repeating to Susan, “Don’t be a childlike.” No to forget, the main character, Henry, he is truly an amazing person because he is not only brainy, he is also genius with a giant heart and he has this sensitivity that goes beyond of his age. He understand adult’s feelings and he knows exactly how her mother and little brother felt after seeing on the hospital bed.

Furthermore, there is not much of violence in the story due to no scene was shown in the film to represent the abusing of child but the worse part of the film is the language itself, not strong language but still the characters used the bad words in their dialogue. It is pretty inappropriate when the children also watches the film together with their parents in cinema. Last but not least, the critical and central question that suits the best together for this film will be “Who’s the ‘Parent’, who’s the ‘Child’?”, it might can be so called the unexpectedly different kind of “coming of age” movie. It is truly the story that absolutely filled with love and has a very positive message to catch on.

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Review on Film "The Book of Henry"

SYNOPSIS/ BACKGROUND/ AUTHOR OF THE BOOK OF HENRY This film story, The Book of Henry is American drama film. The story was directed ...

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