To be a contender against all odds is a great theme. Many people want to see the dark horse or outsider triumph. Ask yourself what movies like this are you familiar with? Now ask yourself what would you rather see? Would you rather watch a boxer given the hundred to one shot to become the heavy weight champion of the world? Or would you rather watch a landscape designer to design a beautiful garden fighting against all the odds to win the Chelsea Flower Show? Mmm! I think we know the answer.
That being said, after viewing the film with sheer reluctance due to the premise, if you walk in with low expectations, you will without a doubt walk out pleasantly surprised. Sometimes we all need a bit of light heartedness and avoid the dark, dull and dreary subject matter. ‘Dare to be Wild’ is a calm, charming and captivating film. The cinematography is the heart of this film as we see beautiful picturesque greenery of Mary Reynolds being at one with nature. ‘Dare to be Wild’ is a true story about a young woman in her twenties who is passionate about horticulture and designs lush gardens that makes your eyes water whilst admiring Mary’s beautiful scenery.
The inspiring true story is about Mary Reynolds played by the lovely Emma Greenwell; Mary is a young Irish landscape designer who, despite huge personal and professional obstacles, attempts to win a Gold Medal at the 2002 Chelsea Flower Show. To get to know this intriguing lady is a pleasant journey to follow, the reason being the viewer will admire her pioneering commitment to preserve and regenerate the environment and wild heritage. This is the approach that puts her at odds with the conventions of the Chelsea hierarchy. However will she win the hearts of the judges, the public and even Prince Charles? No spoilers for now but if Rocky lost against Apollo Creed in the first film will Mary win or lose her garden design? You’ll never know unless you watch the film and avoid Googling her.
Every film like this needs a love interest. Tom Hughes plays the charismatic Christy Collard that Mary will be infatuated with. To see their love blossom is a sweet touch to this romantic biography. The fact that Tom who happens to be a botanist makes our two love birds like peas and carrots. How will Mary win his heart and help her design her beautiful garden? She will have to help Tom in Ethiopia where his passion lies to build a forest park in the desert to make it bloom with hope and beauty. It is when we see Mary’s commitment to Tom that he will reciprocate with her dreams.
‘Dare to be Wild’ is a gentle film. The fact that Mary is Irish and in her twenties, one would assume that Saoirse Ronan would be the first choice to play the lead role but declined. That being said the English rose Emma Greenwell is extremely convincing with her Irish accent. Not once will anyone detect that she naturally speaks with an RP accent. Greenwell will definitely win the audience over in the end due to her vulnerability to passionate, then strong minded lovable performance. Tom Hughes will win the hearts of many ladies as he’s just plain old nice; the attribute that every woman should fall for. This is a film for garden lovers and for garden haters that will learn to appreciate nature, untouched beauty and culture to a higher standard.
| Aly Lalji
Drama, Biography, Romance | Ireland, 2016 | PG |Miracle Comms | 23rd September 2016 (UK) | Dir.Vivienne De Courcy | Emma Greenwell, Tom Hughes, Alex Macqueen