With last week’s review of ‘Civil War’ which was recently shown at Broadway Cinema, I decided to watch something that has been shown at one of the island’s alternative cinemas just along the Douglas seafront.

John Krasinki’s ‘IF’, which ran at the Palace Cinema for a fortnight through May and June, is a fun but hard-hitting family movie that threw quite a lot of emotions at me to the point where I was slightly inundated.

The opening scene shows camera clips and flashbacks of a young girl called Bea (played by the brilliant Cailey Fleming) and her happy family upbringing with her parents and her grandmother.

However, it soon becomes clear that Bea’s mother eventually died of cancer, and that her father (portrayed by writer and director John Krasinski himself) is also unwell in hospital by the time she is 12 years old.

The movie grapples with the idea of Bea coming to terms with her father’s illness through her experience with imaginary friends - also known as ‘IFs’.

Firstly, I definitely think that the movie achieves what it set out to achieve - it was heartfelt but impactful, while also being fun but not particularly funny.

I don’t feel like the emotional aspects resonated with me as much as they should’ve done, and this was entirely down to really sudden tone shifts.

One minute there’s a song and a dance, then Bea is crying next to her dad in hospital, then she’s goofing around with the IF ‘Blue’ in the hospital corridors. It all felt a bit sudden to me and the pacing felt off.

It also felt like the movie only really came alive in its final third. The first two thirds were really quite dull and slow - a stark contrast to the final 30 minutes which were extremely satisfying. The ending seemed to ‘save’ the movie to an extent.

It’s important to remember that I’m a 23 year old man critiquing what is essentially a children’s film, and I’m certain that 95% of children who watched this movie loved it.

Krasinski described it as a ‘live-action Pixar film’, which I have to agree with.

The variety of animated characters was fantastic, and they all seemed to be voiced by a-list Hollywood actors. It was fun to try and guess which actors were voicing which characters!

I mentioned it before, but this was a really good child acting performance from Cailey Fleming. Her dynamic with Ryan Reynolds was great and their chemistry was there for all to see, while there is a difficult and emotional scene towards the end in which Fleming particularly shines.

Overall, I would say that IF is great entertainment for children, while also opening their eyes to the power of imagination and tackling tough subjects such as the heartbreak of loss and its impact.

I just felt like the pacing and its rather dull nature in the first half of the film didn’t help its cause - but like I say, I was not the target audience!