Dreamland Movie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Pros: playing Margot Robbie; history of the Great Depression period, which develops against the backdrop of dust storms: atmosphere of melancholy Cons: the film slowly slides into a slurred story; lacks dramatic tension “Dreamland” / Dreamland

Genre drama, thriller
Directed by Miles Joris-Peyrafitte
Cast: Margot Robbie (Allison Wells), Finn Cole (Eugene Evans), Travis Fimmel (George Evans), Garrett Hedlund (Perry Montroy), Kerry Condon (Olivia Evans), Darby Camp (Phoebe Evans), Hans Christopher (John Baker) , Bruce McIntosh (farmer), etc.
Студии Automatik Entertainment, LuckyChap Entertainment, Romulus Entertainment
Year of issue 2019 (in Ukraine 2020)
IMDb website

The film takes place during the Great Depression. The protagonist, 17-year-old Eugene (Finn Cole), is fond of detective magazines, dreaming of an interesting life as adventurous heroes and robbers. In real life, the guy is different – he lives under the same roof with his stepfather, who does not get along with his adopted son, and nothing happens around except a severe drought. For the locals, everything changes when a woman who robbed a bank (Margot Robbie) shows up in the neighborhood. Eugene dreams of catching the fugitive and getting a cash reward, but when he meets her face to face, the guy changes his plans.

The story of the protagonist’s family is told by voice-over, which casually mentions dozens of storms and the destruction of crops. Probably, we are talking about dust storms in the United States in 1935, which were called the “Dust Bowl”. Later, massive brown clouds will appear in the frame, enveloping the plain and the few houses built on the scorched earth. For this reason, the characters in the film wear makeshift masks and protect their eyes from dust with protective goggles, which they carry with them even on clear days.


The operator of the film Dreamland clearly conveys the atmosphere of suffocation and melancholy that prevails during this period. It is not surprising that the main character escapes in fictional stories, also dreaming about distant Mexico. This detail will become the link that will unite Eugene with the man he considered the criminal. By the way, the creators of the film show Mexico in the imagination of the characters in the format of shots taken on film, highlighting them from the general visual range.

The film has a lot of good hooks for an interesting story and, most importantly, it has Margot Robbie (she also acted as one of the producers of the film). There is also intrigue about what the fugitive really is, and how she will take advantage of the young hero.


And everything good at some point slowly slides into an indistinct story, where the characters lack a good setting that can reveal their will and explain their actions. For a dangerous adventure, good ground was laid, but towards the end, Dreamland for some reason begins to subside. The climax, which by force of circumstances should hold the tension, suddenly turns out to be boring.

Most likely, the matter is in the director Miles Joris-Peyrafit, who worked on short films and made indie films before Dreamland. Here, he did not feel the moment when it was necessary to complete the protracted scene or add dramatic tension to what was happening.


It’s a shame, because scenes with Margot Robbie can even now be nominated for an Oscar. The actress turns the legend of the search into a real person, fully consistent with those times. As for Finn Cole, the actor portrays the necessary confusion that his character experiences in the presence of a fugitive, not immediately becoming a bold hero from the pages of his favorite magazines.

But due to the fact that the story sags and becomes tedious, implausible in its own way, the film leaves behind a double impression. In the end, even the off-screen voice does not help brighten up the outcome of the finale, which tries in vain to give the events more significance.


Dreamland is a film with an interesting premise, historical background, and good acting that doesn’t get a decent direction.

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