Saturday, September 12, 2009

"9" (2009) - Movie Review

“9” is good animation film getting popularized and attracting attention on its opening through viral marketing. Its main characters are group of small creatures knit out of spare materials in a weaving shop. They have telescope resembling eyes constantly focussing and refocussing. They are unevenly shaped and has a curiosity except for this leader character 1 (Voice of Christopher Plummer). The animation and the story is not an invention but the setting is. The future as usual is the scattered shrapnel of apocalypse by the resultant of human arrogance. The visual, the design and the feel of the machines and the officially declared name Stichpunks of these creations are a free flow imagination of the creators, in this case director Shane Acker and his team.

The titular character 9 (Voice of Elijah Wood) awakes in a room with a dead scientist. He behaves as a human though his appearance is far from it. He picks up the pieces and stores it in his zip body. Soon as he ventures out of curiosity, he finds the clan of numbers. They have the stubborn and disliked leader along with disappeared rebels. Their purpose is unknown and what they do in this ended world is not something Acker bothers about. How long they have survived is irrelevant. The world is done, the stickpunks are here and we have a cool film is the director’s statement in his film.

The movie then goes about the talisman and the awakened “wicked” machine. There was only one cat shaped robot which was hunting before the big machine 9 woke up. What would robots do once they kill the stichpunks? Technically they have brain and can think. It shows anger and works laboriously. May be it would become Dragon-E, who knows and mainly the makers go with the assumption that who cares in this kind of film. I do a little. When there is a venture for future and the invention of brain, there is an artistic responsibility to explain it or hide it well. Both of them does not happen in “9”.

But this is a new wave of animation. It combines the darkness of other comic books and anime into the animation category. In “9”, it is gloom and struggle. There is a potential appetite for violence with iron objects clanging against each other for the sound of blood shed. It is not the world Acker projects which is fresh on the eyes but the characters and their movement. They walk half clumsy and operate with lying around objects to make tools to apply for the time to save themselves or others.

We later learn that the scientist (Voice of Alan Oppenheimer) in an attempt to rejuvenate the disappoint human race in to these tiny, little creatures. Each of them are shaped on their traits and behaviour. There is though a sense of repeatability and despite for the trailers and advertisement of how much “visionary” this film really is, it dies once the animation is sucked out of this venture. It becomes a skeletal used up formula film.

The true quality on how 9 comes about becoming the leader and the protagonist of the film is to question authority. That is the same which was done by the rebel warrior 7 (Voice of Jennifer Connelly). Oh and they have female stichpunks too. The idle mind in the in between conversations and altercations keeps propping the questions. But for what it is, “9” knows the adventure and finds its way through the rummages and setting up the steps to lead the film to a know unconvincing end.

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