Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

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I can’t imagine anyone not knowing of the rather rotund, philosophical bear named Winnie the Pooh, or Edward bear (his real name) and his adventures with his friends, Piglet, Eeyore, Owl and of course the ever bouncy Tigger. Whether your parents read these stories to you as a child or you only know the Disney version, I challenge anyone to tell me he hasn’t figured in their childhood.

When I’d heard about the film, Goodbye Christopher Robin I wondered how interesting or relevant it would be to me. Would it ruin my visions of my favourite childhood stories author? Did I really want to know what went on behind the scenes? I have always been fascinated by the process of the “writer”, so when my sisters suggested an outing to go see it I agreed.

I am so glad I watched this touching, well put together film. Obviously I have no idea how well researched it was, where they got the information from about the life of A.A. Milne and his family but it seems they left nothing out if it was a true interpretation.

It was fascinating to see life from the writer’s point of view. His return from war, moving from London to Hartfield in Sussex for a quieter life. His intention to write an anti war book soon turned around and he went on to write possibly the most successful children’s book of all time.

Thrown into sharing the care of his son Christopher Robin with the nanny (Nu) he finds inspiration in walks with his son in the Ashdown Forest.

The film documents Milne’s writing process, his unique friendship with the illustrator E.H Shepherd, and the struggles with his marriage and what would now be termed “post traumatic stress”, and ultimately the very strained relationship his had with his son. Thrown into the limelight as the star of the stories Christopher Robin lost his privacy, had his photo taken with a bear and was often sent out on marketing errands, which he eventually resented.

Goodbye Christopher Robin, is a touching, real, and interesting story, and I especially feel an element of sympathy with these “real life” characters. If you don’t go and see it for yourself, at least promise me you’ll go and find Pooh Bridge near the beautiful village of Hartfield, East Sussex and throw a couple of sticks for old times sake.

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