Wonderwell is Carrie Fisher’s last movie (we talked about it on the podcast), so I thought I should check it out. It was a complete letdown. I hoped for something intriguing, but what I got was a convoluted mess that left me questioning not only the plot but also my own decision to waste time on the film.

It’s hard to describe a movie that gives you almost nothing about the story. The plot was so disjointed and poorly developed that it felt like the filmmakers themselves weren’t sure what story they were trying to tell. The attempts at creating a mysterious and enigmatic atmosphere only ended up being confusing and instead of feeling engaged, I was left frustrated.

A little girl named Violet (Kiera Milward) finds a seemingly magic well and falls in. She has until morning to get back. She meets Hazel (Carrie Fisher), who’s apparently a witch, it’s never explained in any capacity. It seems like this is a magical realm of sorts, but it’s almost no different than where she came from. The whole movie could’ve taken place in what I assume is reality and nothing would’ve changed at all. She’s the same and all the other characters are the same.

There are talks of a key and Yana (Rita Ora) apparently wants this key for herself and she’s bad because the movie says so. She’s apparently friends with the girl’s dad (Lloyd Owen). I don’t know if the movie said his name. Same with her mother (Megan Dodds). The family is in Italy for a photo shoot for their eldest daughter, Savannah (Nell Tiger Free).

Carrie Fisher is barely in this, not that it matters, she had some lines and said those lines, that’s all. I’d say she phoned it in, but every one did that really. The performances felt wooden and forced. I couldn’t help but feel like the terrible screenplay didn’t give them much to work with. The exchanges between characters were cringe-worthy. Lazy dialogue with awkward attempts at profundity that often fell flat.

Wonderwell has subplots that go nowhere. To be fair, the main plot doesn’t go anywhere either. The parents apparently not happy with their marriage, but that goes nowhere. The sister is picked for a photo shoot, later she burns a flower and becomes one of them, whatever that means. It’s never explained.

Nothing in this movie is explained. At least there could’ve been an exposition dump to explain anything that happens. Even the little bit of fantasy world the movie offers isn’t explained at all. Wonderwell feels more like an outline for a screenplay that’s never been fully developed.

I don’t know what took so long for this movie to get released, but it sure doesn’t seem like any work was put into it for that length of time. The plot could’ve used more meat on the bone or any for that matter. The special effects were nice, for the most part. They kind of fell flat at the end.

It’s as if the writers had just thrown together a collection of clichés without bothering to give them any meaningful arcs or growth. I found myself indifferent to their fates, especially when the movie tells you what happens on this side doesn’t really matter.

Wonderwell proved to be a genuine disappointment. With its nothingness plot, underdeveloped characters, lackluster performances, and insipid dialogue, it failed to deliver on being anything worthwhile and meaningful — a sad end to Carrie Fisher’s career.


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