Saturday, February 07, 2009

"Coraline" (3D) (2009) - Movie Review

It got to be said that “Coraline” is a fantastic visual exploration in the world of animation and 3D. But what begins as a dark and dreary melancholic musical piece resembling the tone of “Lemony Snickets: A series of Unfortunate Events” begins to deteriorate once the couple of visit into this other world of Coraline (Dakota Fanning) begins to happen regularly. It is a kids film and carries the emotion of good and evil as the moral stories does. Yet it is a little too dark for kids while a little too boring for adults in the end. And my eyes began to hurt for some strange reasons. I would not blame it on the 3D as I enjoyed every application of it in the story.

A stop-motion animated film, “Coraline” has the titular character who moves into the Pink Palace Apartments with her parents (Teri Hatcher as Mother and John Hodgman as Father). Her parents are glued to their computers and poor Coraline missing her friends from her home town begins to wander around the house. She dislikes the new place and especially the weird characters she meets around. A nerdy goofy young boy Wybie (Robert Jailey Jr.) standing for actually “Why Born” to imply the darkness of the film. Then are the neighbours veteran actresses forgetting they are too old for make up and revealing costumes. They are Miss Spink (Jennifer Saunders) and Miss Forcible (Dawn French) And finally an acrobatic eccentric Mr. Bobinsky (Ian McShane). This all slowly makes Coraline be irritated of the new life she has been thrust upon along with parents who are not in the mood to listen.

Soon the discovery of a small door residing usually in a new big gloomy house in films leads her to an alternate world. This world maintained in order with care and comfort by Coraline’s “other mother”. She looks and talks the same as of Coraline’s mother but she has buttons stitched instead of real eyes as in dolls. Same as all the other characters created based on the real world of Coraline with button eyes. She is been well taken care of with sumptuous meals and entertainments with an improved neighbours. She hates to be back at her regular life. But nothing as it seems and a cat (Keith David) warns her about the trap set for the prey. Only before Coraline realizes that is all for something more she gets caught in the labyrinth of this dictator other mother.

Henry Selick’s film does not lack any bit in imagination. And the 3D is more than entertainment. It is a navigation into more than one wall paintings and the objects in it takes form of clay puppets and begins to wander around in three dimensions. In a pure sense of art and animation, “Coraline” is a must watch. And with the music of Bruno Coulias, the film gets both those right only to fumble in the midst of it. The story begins to wear into the moral books and then goes to making no sense. Even the current generation of kids would figure it out on the “traps” of niceties and the fable of “even though their parents have bad days and phases, they will always love you”. It is becoming a little too old for that over the top preaching.

“Coraline” though is a tough case to be dismissed as lesser of a good film. It is successful in its story line of making the wonderland into a scary place as soon as the witch like mother begins to throw tantrums over Coraline. We yearn for the old and undecorated house of her and wants her to return. When she gets out after hustle and tussle to her home, we know it is not the end but wants it to be. Now she got to get the other trapped souls from the dungeon in the scary world. But to make it spicy, her parents are trapped too. When the villains are predictable, there is no fun in dismantling their plans. The film suffers from that.

Or am I judging a film for children a little too much than necessary? Well, in that case each genre would have its own excuses and forgiveness to be bad. Overlooking it does not make it better rather more sympathetic. Henry Selick’s colourful presentation is a nice intertwine of marginal dark and happy clown endings but what begins as an impressive film wanes into the mess of traditional witch hunt. I wish it was otherwise.


vani said...

it was ok ok only ..cud have been better

Ashok said...

Hey Vani,

The story of course was not so good but you have to give credit for the splendid 3D and visuals :-).

Joe Barry said...

This movie Coraline 3D was actually wonderful experience for me.I had also taken my kids wih me and they really enjoyed it very much.I myself was excited very much.It is not only for children but also for grown-ups too who seem to get more excited than the children!if I were asked then I would rate it 7/10.I think its a precisely written script and all the 3D effects is not overdone.I suggest you to see it if you want to experience something different from the regular commercial movies.