Review: Tom & Thomas (2002)

Tom & Thomas (2002)

Directed by: Esmé Lammers | 110 minutes | family | Actors: Sean Bean, Inday Ba, Aaron Johnson, Ryan Nelson, Derek de Lint, Bill Stewart, Sean Harris, Geraldine James, Jonathan Schwerzmann, Romaine Fagin, Victoria Hasted, Ravin J. Ganatra, Anil Douglas, Leagh Conwell, Doortje Peters, Mike Dowling, Kate Henry, Lou Landré, David Eeles, Dawn Mastin, Anita Wright, Christopher Ravenscroft, Racheal Joseph, Dave Calderhead, James Webber, Richard Messina, Dorian MacDonald, Ray Graham, Tim Jones, Gemma Johnson, Craig Stokes, Stephen Smith , Melvyn de Kom, Erin Tasmania, Evrim Akyigit, Amanda Wolzak

In 1996, director Esmé Lammers received a Golden Calf for Best Feature Film for her debut film ‘Long live the Queen’. More than six years later, Lammers is allowed to direct ‘Tom & Thomas’. The producers of this film are Laurens Geels and Dick Maas, who together already have a lot of Dutch top films to their name.

The story is about the boy Thomas who has nightmares more and more since his adoptive mother died. In his dreams he sees his invisible friend Tom. Tom also has dreams, in which he often meets his invisible friend Thomas. The twins do not know about each other’s existence, but still feel a kinship in the dreams, they also regularly feel each other’s pain. Themes such as abuse, telepathy and death are covered. This makes ‘Tom & Thomas’ a fairly gloomy children’s film. The subjects are quite heavy for the target group. Fortunately, the film, especially in the second half, becomes very adventurous. The young viewer will be able to empathize with the characters, especially in this part. Visually, the colourful, innocent world of Thomas and the gray and grim boarding school life of Tom are beautifully portrayed. The musical support of the film is also quite strong.

Aaron Johnson portrays both Tom and Thomas in a fun, credible and honest way. For the twelve-year-old actor, the children’s film is his debut on the silver screen, he has previously played in television series. The double role is very well put together, the viewer will certainly be under the illusion that Tom and Thomas are portrayed by two different young actors. The British Aaron Johnson is a talent, from whom much can be expected in the future. Sean Bean as Paul Sheppard and Bill Stewart as Finch also act very well in the film. Stewart playing a villainous man who sells children from the boarding school for adoption comes across as very terrifying. Sean Bean, best known for action films and thrillers, plays the role of a loving, chaotic father nicely and knows how to convince the viewer absolutely. Inday Ba stars as neighbor Celia in ‘Tom & Thomas’. Ba exudes a soft, pleasant warmth, the young actress unfortunately passed away three years after the release of this film.

Esmé Lammers provides one hundred and ten exciting and moving minutes. ‘Tom & Thomas’ is a nice family adventure film, perhaps a bit on the sad side, but with excellent acting. Although the film was originally intended as a Christmas film, it can be admired all year round.

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