‘Penelope’ Review — A Modern ‘Into the Wild’ Begins – saimmalik

The Huge Image

  • Mel Eslyn‘s Penelope is a brand new sequence a few 16-year-old lady who leaves civilization to construct a brand new life within the wilderness.
  • The pilot episode exhibits promise, mixing exploration, humor, and melancholic realities of the world.
  • Megan Stott delivers a beautiful efficiency because the titular character, capturing the joys and uncertainty of youth.

In 2007, director Sean Penn launched his ardour venture movie Into the Wild, effectively… into the wild. Primarily based on the nonfiction e book of the identical identify by the nice author Jon Krakauer (Under the Banner of Heaven), it recounted the story of the troubled younger Christopher McCandless as he cuts ties with the life he had identified up till then to set off on his personal. The movie and the story have resonated with these feeling the same sense of unease in regards to the trajectory of their lives and the world writ massive. It’s the kind of uncertainty that transcends generations and should have discovered its successor in one other — solely this time, her identify is Penelope. Although we’ve solely simply bought to know Penelope within the pilot episode that bears her identify, which premiered at this 12 months’s Sundance Film Festival, there’s already a way that she goes locations.


A sixteen-year-old who feels alienated from up to date civilization is pulled into the uncharted wilderness and begins to construct a brand new life for herself there.

Launch Date
January 24, 2024

Mel Eslyn

Essential Style


What Is ‘Penelope’ About?

Created by the nice producer turned director Mel Eslyn, who hatched up last year’s spectacular sci-fi dramedy Biosphere, and co-written by her longtime collaborator Mark Duplass, the preliminary have a look at this sequence is outlined by exploration. The world we’re dropped into has factors in its favor proper from the leap as one of many sadly rare productions to actually shoot in Washington state (whereas others frequently try and fail to pass themselves off as doing so). There’s already a confidence in the best way issues unfold within the lifetime of the younger Penelope (Megan Stott) as Eslyn wastes little time in getting issues transferring. When the 16-year-old goes for a stroll on her personal, away from the campsite the place different households, together with her mom, have all gathered, it tells us all we have to know. We are able to really feel her want to get as far-off as doable from the others. Nonetheless, this stroll finally ends up being fairly a protracted one when Penelope realizes that she may simply preserve going. Stated realization is sort of one which she stumbles upon, however quickly turns into dedicated to in pursuing this new path so far as it can take her. The place that goes stays to be seen, however the sequence’ first steps are bursting with promise.

Particularly, whereas the comparability to Into the Wild stays a becoming one, Penelope has loads of its personal distinctive concepts to discover, with this sense merely like an preliminary entry level. There are parts of rising up that stay acquainted throughout generations, however the fictional Penelope resides in a vastly completely different world than McCandless was. In an early scene, she rushes out to a retailer to purchase a bunch of provides to get on the street. Discovering at that time that she doesn’t have any cash that isn’t tied to her telephone, she acts quick through the use of mentioned gadget to purchase a digital reward card as a substitute. This performs as a humorous acknowledgment of her relatable impulsiveness that has left her largely unprepared in addition to her capability to assume shortly on her toes. In lesser palms, this might simply really feel just like the “outdated man yells at cloud” meme in highlighting her reliance on know-how, however Eslyn doesn’t merely go for the straightforward chortle. As a substitute, she turns the joke on us after we see how resourceful Penelope is. Later, when the character tries to leap on board a dashing prepare, this turns into a extra enjoyable sequence as she determines a intelligent approach to get on board with all of the possessions she’s going to now be carrying on her again.

Although there’s solely restricted perception into the total sense of why Penelope is taking this leap simply but, because the pilot takes a extra refreshingly mild method, it doesn’t draw back from the world’s extra melancholic realities. For each good encounter with a fellow drifter that seems okay, there’s a sense that this life may not be such a magical one filled with equally good vignettes. Later, close to the tip of the episode, simply earlier than its most joyous second, there’s a reminder that Penelope will nonetheless possible want cash to hold on and that she will’t simply shortly buy a digital reward card each time she does. Complimented by a sweeping but subtly profound rating, there’s already the muse being constructed for a considerate journey to come back.

The worst factor that might occur with a sequence like that is that it loses a deal with on placing the steadiness between the romanticism of youth placing out on their very own and the truth they have to quickly face. In Penelope‘s pilot, this steadiness is decliately struck as we get swept up within the pleasure of its lead being lastly free from the looming pressures of the world. Whereas some particulars are solely sketches at this level and thus can’t be evaluated about how they are going to develop into outlined because the sequence goes on, what Eslyn is establishing proves intriguing even amid the unknown. What is thought is there’s loads of promise — each within the story being advised, and the star at its heart.

Megan Stott Is Great in ‘Penelope’

Picture through Sundance 

Although not a complete newcomer by any means, having first made herself a reputation to observe with an amazing efficiency within the hit-and-miss sequence Little Fires Everywhere, Stott shines vibrant right here. There’s an understated honesty in how she views the world — from the joys in her eyes whereas the world rushes by past the prepare to the reasonably affecting uncertainty about what she’s going to do subsequent. As the primary web page on this portrait of youth, it feels lived-in and real in a approach that attracts you in. Credit score should even be given to each Eslyn and Duplass, as different works about younger individuals can usually really feel like they’re not likely in tune with the identical era of as we speak. What they rightly do is simply present Penelope as she is, with out speaking all the way down to her or approaching from the skin wanting in. As a substitute, Penelope is already working from the within out, in all of the ways in which actually matter. Whereas there’s nonetheless quite a bit to uncover within the street forward, wherever the sequence goes subsequent, we’re proper there alongside Penelope for each subsequent step she’ll take.

Penelope TV Show Sundance Film Festival 2024 Debut Image



Mel Eslyn’s Penelope is just simply starting, however it’s a sequence that’s already bursting with promise.


  • Eslyn and her co-writer Mark Duplass by no means discuss all the way down to the central character, constructing her up from the skin in.
  • Megan Stott shines vibrant, giving a efficiency that brings us right into a lived-in world.
  • Eslyn drops us into the lifetime of the 16-year-old protagonist with a confidence that units a robust basis for extra to come back.

  • There aren’t extra episodes but to get misplaced on this world.

Penelope had its World Premiere on the 2024 Sundance Movie Pageant.

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