Fourteen-year-old inventor Violet Baudelaire, her twelve-year-old bookish brother Klaus, and their bitey baby sister Sunny are orphaned after a mysterious fire destroys their home and kills their parents. The children are left in the care of their cousin relative and stage actor, Count Olaf (Jim Cary). But Olaf is secretly plotting to steal their parents’ vast fortune, which will remain in the custody of a bank until Violet comes of age.
Even though the Baudelaire children seem to be followed by countless “unfortunate events,” the story has a bright spot at its center. This is the three children themselves, who, unlike many characters in contemporary Fantasy stories, such as Harry Potter, sum up a series of eminently positive traits: they are intelligent, well-educated, honest and brave. The three children try to grow up together in a world where there is nothing stable for them. And at the same time, they take care of others and manage, despite the desperate situations they will often find themselves in, to be generous.
The underlying feeling of the film is, therefore, hope. However difficult the challenges may seem, the three children will be able to overcome them, as long as they remain united and use their gifts and talents. No matter how powerful evil seems to become, it can be defeated. In addition, the film and the books offer us an important lesson: the three children do not complain, but manage to enjoy the gifts of life and family, despite the evil and suffering they’re constantly facing.
The film is loosely based on A Series of Unfortunate Events by Daniel Handler (pen name: Lemony Snicket), covering the first three novels: The Bad Beginning (1999), The Reptile Room (1999), and The Wide Window (2000).
- Original title: A Series of Unfortunate Events (based on the series of thirteen novels with same title published between 1999-2006)
- Author of the novel: Daniel Handler (pen name: Lemony Snicket)
- Original language: English
- Starring: Jim Carrey (Count Olaf)
- Genre: Adventures movie
- Release date: 2004
- Public: Adults, teenagers