Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Up" (2009) - Movie Review

When was the last time we were easily moved by a series of scenes depicting two kids growing up to be happily married? And that happens within the first ten minutes of the “Up”. Carl Fredricksen (voice of Edward Asner) as a kid watched his adventure hero Charles Muntz (voice of Christopher Plummer) as the man circling the skies to find the rare breed of animals and wilderness. That fan status gets him to be in young Ellie’s (voice of Elie Docter) club in an old and abandoned house which would become their life home. As a boy, Carl does not talk much, not much at all and as he grows old childless and later a widower, he has successfully attained the status of grumpy old man. As skyscrapers arise by his houses, he holds strong to guard the memory of his late wife and begins to head the destiny of crawling to the doors of death.

Who would imagine an old man taking off his whole house with bunch of helium balloons? The same people who would make the tidiest rat the best chef in “Ratatouille” will be those. The picturesque of an old house cruising in the beds of clouds might be a chores in a day amongst an animation film but an animation film beginning to move the adults where a rare drama would do is unusual. But it is not surprising as Disney Pixar have consistently produced films such as this to find the best talents to propose an entertaining PG film with immense priority to the emotion in their films.

Carl Fredricksen will be the new “kid” in the town in the streets of favourite characters. A shy and nerdy kid, he found his love at very small age in Ellie. As the aforementioned series of scenes of their happy marriage, lot of things can be deduced about Carl. Having found his partner, he would have had no need for many friends and would have begun to shield out of the exteriority of the life beyond Ellie and the house. He would have loved her to the deepest and she of course would have done the same. As the perfect geek and lovable patient woman, she would have taken the role of home maker without a problem and begun to take care of Carl. She loved that life and as she cried too every day on their loss of not able to have a child, the bond between them becomes more and more. And as the responsibility of sustaining in the social existence of norm, the savings to take a trip to their dream destination, the “Paradise Falls” in the South America get broken more so often. The time has passed and the woman has gone. Carl is left with the house of nugget memories in nook and corner on the regret of not achieving and fulfilling his wife’s dream. Thus when the time comes to settle for the retirement home, he does a crazy thing and that is to sky up.

You wonder what is the exact idea he had in mind when he does that. It is possibly a way to kick the bucket and be happy in taking an effort towards the dream. But no, this is Disney Pixar and they twist off with a character to steer our man towards a purpose. A little reminder of his own child hood is Russell (voice of Jordan Nagai), a kid with the hopes of completing the circle of “wildnerness” badges to feel great about himself. Accidentally caught up in the lifted house, he becomes the uninvited burden for Carl’s journey.

Directors Pete Docter and Bob Peterson should make a real drama film. They would make a film which would definitely be a tear jerker but a valid and genuine story. Of course they use the old sweet guy card along with the chubby little cute boy and a talking dog Dug (voice of Bob Peterson). Those cards are the tools in our pausing (yes pausing) life to remember the age we are. Cheesy as it may look, in “Up” it touches us immensely.

The visual extravaganza in films like this have long disappeared to be mentioned as a separate point in the reviews of the critics. It is now a medium as that of the other genres. It is a part which becomes a stage of subtlety than importance. And in “Up” it rightly does so with now and then giving the best image, an emotional image in its best clarity. The voyage to the world along the travelers leads them to discovering each other as any two characters of differences come to find. That is a routine but “Up” is not.


vani said...

The first half was heart touching, but i didn't quite enjoy after Charles steps in, especially with his talking dogs. From then the story and the actions become quite predictable. Russel is so cute and he reminds me of Denise (denise the menase)

Kabir said...

I second to the review loved the film a lot. Highly recommended.

Ashok said...

Vani, I liked the whole movie as such and I would agree that the second half gets into the action and predictable but it was a great treat to watch old Carl in action !!! :-).

Ashok said...

Thanks Kabir for visiting the blog. Feedbacks are welcome !