Based on the incredible real story of Mark Hogancamp, Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen is a toy story that deals with more dramatic issues.
Mark Hogancamp was attacked and nearly beaten to death, and to work through his trauma, he built a tiny town populated by action figures that were based on all the people in his life – including his attackers – and photographing their lives. His life became the subject of the acclaimed documentary Marwencol, and now it is the source material for the fictional Welcome to Marwen.
The film’s synopsis reads:
“Welcome to Marwen tells the miraculous true story of one broken man’s fight as he discovers how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit. When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation—a testament to the most powerful women he knows—through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one. In a bold, wondrous and timely film from this revolutionary pioneer of contemporary cinema, Welcome to Marwen shows that when your only weapon is your imagination…you’ll find courage in the most unexpected place.”
Zemeckis’ choice to use toys that come to life and look like the actors is a bold one, but the visuals look impressive, and perhaps the levity of the tone is what this story needs to balance out the seriousness of its events.
Welcome to Marwen is slated for release on November 21st 2018 in the US, and January 11th 2019 in the UK.