The true story of Mary Reynolds, who was the youngest winner of the Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal for Garden Design when she received her award in 2002, ‘Dare To Be Wild’ is a vibrant and beautiful film which takes the viewer on a magical journey and leaves them with the sure knowledge that anything is possible with a bit of faith and a lot of hard work.
There is a bit of artistic licence taken in the film – Mary and her love interest Christy Collard don’t go on to live happily ever after, for instance, and all the characters are “prettied up” for the sake of the film, but none of this detracts from ‘Dare To Be Wild’. There’s some really great special effects as well, such as Mary’s vision of the trees repopulating in Ethiopia, which causes her to have an epiphany about what she would like to achieve in her Chelsea garden.
Irish mysticism comes into play a lot in this film, starting with Mary’s father (played by Don Wycherley) chiding her for going into a fairy ring by herself. It continues on to some extent with Christy Collard and the Green Angels, an eco-warrior collective who have a sustainable lifestyle off the grid, and who sleep in tree houses. Ultimately it all comes together in Mary’s garden at Chelsea, which, entered by a Celtic arch, was a glorious harmony of hawthorns, moss, and Irish wildflowers.
‘Dare To Be Wild’ is an ambitious project, but first time director and screenwriter Vivienne Decourcy hits her mark, and the film fully conveys the desired environmental message from beginning to end, which is that “Man is Nature, Nature Man – one and the same”. When people and nature work together, rather than against each other, harmony and balance is achieved.
‘Dare To Be Wild’ stars Emma Greenwell as Mary Reynolds, Tom Hughes as Christy Collard, and also features Alex Macqueen, Janie Dee, Christine Marzano, Alaa Safi, and Michael Hough. It’s in cinemas across the UK and Ireland from 23 September. Check the film’s official Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts for further details.