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TIFF 2022: “The Fabelmans”

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steven Spielberg is a filmmaker who does not need an introduction. “Indiana Jones”, “Schindler’s List”, “E.T.”, and “Saving Private Ryan” are just a few marvels out of all his notable works. Any story he tells is important, crucial and educational. But this time, he has brought a film with the most personal story on an epic scale. If you just want to have an idea of what it is actually about, think about “Cinema Paradiso” first.

Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) is obsessed with filmmaking. Whether it’s a train crash or a war scene with friends, he acts as if he is a true director. Encouraged by the loving parents, Burt Fabelman (Paul Dano) and Mitzi Fabelman (Michelle Williams), and supported by uncle Bennie (Seth Rogen), the young man marches towards his dream by creating one home made film after another until he realizes – this is it. His work is threatened by a stormy atmosphere at home but the boy pulls through, paving his own way with the undying love towards cinema.

When the film opens, we find Burt and Mitzi trying to convince the little Sammy to watch a film with them. But once they entered the theater and the train crash scene is shown, the boy begins to see the same thing in his dreams. When his parents saw his obsession of trains, they got him a train set, which he immediately made it to collide with a car. But when the same crash was getting recreated each time, Mitzi buys a small camera and asks Sammy to film it, so he can rewatch it as many times as he wants, while leaving the train set alone. The boy took the camera not realizing it’s going to define his bright future.

Co-written by Steven Spielberg and directed by the iconic director himself, “The Fabelmans” does not mess around and as soon as it starts, it makes a strong statement – stay away every single Oscar contender because I am coming. The script written so in-depth, it opened up for Michelle Williams an opportunity to shine each time she appears on screen. The remarkable showcase of acting ability demonstrates her ability to extract every emotion she can get to show how great Mitzi Fabelman is. Paul Dano, indeed, does not need to be praised. But even he was under the emotional storm, allowing the actor to do whatever he wishes. That’s why for actors to shine a detailed script should be written, so the interpretation of it can be as accurate as possible.

That being said, we need more films like “The Fabelmans” that can inspire us, cheer us up, and lead us towards great changes. Hobbies exist for a reason. But what Sammy does it beyond that. What the film reveals is that if you let the child do what he or she likes and encourage them to not stop, there can be an excellent result that can shape their future in the best possible way. Maybe not today, but tomorrow, you might be raising a new Steven Spielberg. But if you stop them now, the world can lose another maestro.

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