Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wall-E review.

(Sorry dears, I’ve been on holiday and hence no posting. But on holiday I saw The Dark Knight & Wall.E, so, reviews follow!)

It’s several hundred years into the future and grubby little Wall.E is the last remaining robot on Earth, programmed to collect garbage around the world. By now the Earth has become such an unliveable mass of scum and debris that the humans had vacated the planet long ago, shirking responsibility for the mess they made to live it large in space.

Wall.E’s only company is a little cockroach that follows him about, until one day a spaceship lands in his vicinity, bringing with it Eve, a high-tech, no-nonsense pod robot that has been programmed to search for traces of life on Earth. Wall.E spies on Eve, and he is in turns bewildered and bewitched by her, but the principle emotion he feels toward her is love. So much love, in fact, that when the spaceship comes back to take Eve back, he follows his Goddess onto the ‘ship and it takes them to where all the humans have relocated; floated around in Space and with no intention of going home.

Any initial doubts I had about whether Pixar could pull off a futuristic robot movie were immediately quashed when we were introduced to the enigmatic robot himself. Wall.E’s existence is a mundane one; forcing rubbish into cube after cube, which he piles together to make towers of rubbish, but he finds pleasures in the household items he encounters – a spoon, a light, a bra. Back in his “home” – an upturned schoolbus he resides in, he gathers together all the items he collects, and falls asleep Hello, Dolly!, from which he becomes particularly fascinated with the act of holding hands, and wishes he has someone to do it with.

The romance between Wall.E and Eve is believable (yes, believable!) and poignant; I had tears in my eyes when he was tending to her and holding an umbrella to shield her from the rain, even though it resulted in himself getting electrocuted. Though the film is about robots (humans don’t feature until the second half, and even then they are just fat rolls operating electrical chairs, a sad reminder of where our society is headed) and the only words exchanged by the two leads are each others’ names, this is one of the must “humane” movies I have ever seen, with a lot of soul.

Beauty dominates practically every frame. The initial scenes of Wall.E captured the desolate, crumbling state of Earth, but Pixar has found loveliness in the most unexpected of places. This is Pixar’s most ambitious movie to date, and the landscapes and details are appropriately cinematic (the planet is captured with such meticulous pans and fade-outs that it feels almost Shawshank Redemptionly, no real surprise when we consider that Roger Deakins worked as a visual consultant on the movie). Another filmmaker who helped make The Shawshank Redemption the masterpiece that it was, Thomas Newman, also contributed to Wall.E, and his score, whilst not matching his personal best of the other Pixar movie he wrote for, Finding Nemo, still ranks as one of his best, particularly in his usage of the harp, which lends an otherworldly feel to the film throughout.

(Ahem. Sorry for all the references to The Shawshank Redemption here.)

My only qualm with Wall.E is that there isn’t enough humour in the movie. In a way, this is Pixar’s darkest movie to date; with its messages about society’s need to wake up to the problem of global pollution, commercialism, mass obesity and whatnot. The cheeky filmmakers even managed to slip in their own message to Disney; when the president in the old clip says “stay in the course.” But all this means that, whilst there’s the odd visual gag or two, Wall.E is not really all that funny, with no definite belly laughs. With last year’s Ratatouille also failing to tickle my funny bones, I worry that Pixar are becoming darker and darker these days, and leaving the comedic roots that served them so well in the past.

However, despite the fact that I cried more than I laughed, Wall.E still gets a resouding thumbs up from me. The animation is flawless, the entertainment is countless and for once, I became interested in sci-fi. And the denouement shows that it’s not too late; redemption is still available and we can still save the world if we really want to.



Martín said...

I really loved the film. I agree that it is not as funny as some previous Pixar efforts. I'm not sure it should be, though.

My main concern with the film were humans, not the futuristic ones, but the "real" ones. Combining "real life" and animated humans is a weird choice.

Anyway, I believe Wall·E has more heart in it than almost any other film I've seen in the last year, and it is beautiful to watch.

I wanna read your TDK review now :)

Scarlett said...

I think that the reason why some humans were "real life" is because at the time that video was shot, people were people and not pseudo-robotic beings as the ones in the future: so extremely cartoonish that they are almost a mockery of what humans are supposed to be like. I think they were trying to create a distinction between the two and point out where we are headed.

Anyway, amazing film. =)

Just a girl said...

Aw, I want to see this movie so bad! Not sure if it's out yet in Oz, but if it isn't it should be soon. =) Everyone's said it's fantastic, so I'm looking forward to it.


Anonymous said...

I loved it. Pixar are on a roll

Jacstev said...

Wall E with no too much talking is one of the best animation films of 2008 and absolutely the best contender on Oscar next year.

hanum said...

nice movie, good animation technology used.

Unknown said...

This is a nice animation based movie, animated so carefully and do the best, i have seen this picture lot a time, thanks for it.....


Unknown said...

I don't this in a patronising way at all, but I really enjoyed reading your film reviews Emma. They're so detailed and well-written. You're one of my favourite film critics.
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dubaiexperies said...

main concern with the film were humans, not the futuristic ones, but the "real" ones. Combining "real life" and animated humans is a weird choice.Anyway, I believe Wall·E has more heart in it than almost any other film I've seen in the last year, and it is beautiful to watch.
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Unknown said...

In fact, despite his violin skills being the catalyst and plot driving force in the film, I see Together more as a simple tale of the love between a father and son. The father isn’t perfect; he’s poor and struggling
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jabir said...

I re-watched this recently and didn't like it anywhere near as much as before. :)

online movies said...

I have seen this movie two times and found it very interesting. The animations are just fantastic. I really like this movie a lot and want to have a DVD of this movie too.

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Well for me was a great movie, my daughter ask me to take her to watch it and I really like the movie I even download it in order to watch it again, thanks for the review.

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