IF Movie Review

If Movie Synopsis:
IF is the story of a young girl and her imaginary friends. Elizabeth aka Bea (Cailey Fleming), 12, loses her mother to a terminal illness. Her father (John Krasinski), meanwhile, is admitted to a hospital for a risky heart surgery. Bea, who’s still not over her mother’s demise, fears that she might lose her father as well. She comes to stay with her grandmother (Fiona Shaw) in a residence in New York. One day, she hears movement in the flat above her grandmother’s. When she goes to check, she realizes that it is owned by Cal (Ryan Reynolds) and two imaginary friends (IFs) – Blue (voiced by Steve Carell) and Blossom (voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge). Bea soon realizes that she and Cal are the only two people who have the ability to see people’s IFs. As Bea becomes friends with Cal, the latter takes her to a retirement home of IFs where many such creatures reside. Many of them are saddened that they have been abandoned by the kids whom they helped. Bea and Cal decide to help these IFs find a new home. But there’s a slight problem. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

John Krasinski’s story is unique and kudos to him for being able to come up with such an out-of-the-box concept. His screenplay is peppered with some lovely moments. But it fails to wow the audience. The dialogues are normal. The direction is a mixed bag. He has given the film a light and mainstream treatment. A few scenes are sure to touch the hearts of the moviegoers and even make their eyes moist. It also makes a larger point about innocence and life that would surely be appreciated.

On the flipside, the concept is a bit confusing, and John fails to simplify to the audience. Even the adults would not be able to fully comprehend the plot. Hence, one can imagine how it would be for the kids, who are the target audience for the film. None of the scenes blow the minds of the viewers. Lastly, the climax is predictable. Ryan Reynolds, however, is superb. He underplays his part in some scenes. He lets the other actors take over and yet, he excels in those scenes. Cailey Fleming plays the lead role with panache. She is quite good in the emotional scenes.

On the whole, IF rests on the unique concept and the star value. But due to the confusing narrative and lack of a ‘Wow’ factor.