Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review : WALL E (2008)

WALL E : In the distant future, a small waste collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Okay,so what's to be said when approaching Wall E well for the first half an hour of the film there isn't any dialogue that is spoken it's all done through music and physically seeing things and establishing where you are, and your establishing the character of WALL E as well.

As an opening this is unlike anything that's been done in a PIXAR film before or since as it's probably the one time that PIXAR have taken a step back and rather than introduce with a big spaceship landing, they've decided to pull on the audience's heart strings and have them establish their main character in the best sights by pulling on their heart strings and creating an emotional connection with the audience, so they can sentimentally invest with the robot.

I've always been very curious by the opening scene, not only because there's no dialogue in it but because it allows me as and viewer to physically and mentally process things properly rather than jump into the deep end and be like 'oh it's an action film, BANG there's bombs going off in a public place there's big explosions and people screaming, it's all very dramatic' and of course we all have our own way of retaining information based on what we see and what our minds tell us to be true.

However in the case of WALL E what is does so well for me is that it highlights the simplicity of the background environment very simply with wide shot angles to fully get a bigger scope of the habitat, your focus is just on one character - that's good and simple to follow and above all odds it's so well done.

Viewers need to know that although that WALL E is a winning Pixar adventure and thoroughly charming and, yes, romantic, some of the youngest viewers with a smaller attention span may get a little restless during the atmospheric, virtually dialogue free first half-hour. It's a lot to concentrate on and a lot to take in, it's a beautiful scene and it shows how well something like that can be done so effortlessly however I can see why it would be boring.

But that being said, You can be any age 5 or 71 and still enjoy this film; but unlike children of an older generation and grown-ups, younger viewers of today's standards of the 2010's won't be that impressed by how much is said with so few words. But the action picks up soon enough. 

Underlying the whole film are strong environmental messages: Reduce, reuse, recycle, and think about what you're doing to the planet. I like messages like that and speaking as someone who recycles regually it just puts it out there the importance of doing that and how we should all do that to make the world a better place.

So the story which is set in a distant, but not so unrealistic, future where mankind has abandoned earth because it has become covered with rubbish from products sold by the powerful multi-national Buy N Large corporation, WALL-E, a garbage collecting robot has been left to clean up the mess.Mesmerized with trinkets of Earth's history and show tunes, WALL-E is alone on Earth except for a sprightly pet cockroach. One day, EVE, a sleek reconnaissance robot, is sent to Earth to find proof that life is once again sustainable.WALL-E falls in love with EVE. WALL-E rescues EVE from a dust storm and shows her a living plant he found amongst the rubble. Consistent with her "directive", EVE takes the plant and automatically enters a deactivated state except for a blinking green beacon.

WALL-E, doesn't understand what has happened to his new friend, but, true to his love, he protects her from wind, rain, and lightning, even as she is unresponsive. One day a massive ship comes to reclaim EVE, but WALL-E, out of love or loneliness, hitches a ride on the outside of the ship to rescue EVE. The ship arrives back at a large space cruise ship, which is carrying all of the humans who evacuated Earth 700 years earlier. 

The people of Earth ride around this space resort on hovering chairs which give them a constant feed of TV and video chatting. They drink all of their meals through a straw out of laziness and/or bone loss, and are all so fat that they can barely move. When the auto-pilot computer, acting on hastily-given instructions sent many centuries before, tries to prevent the people of Earth from returning by stealing the plant, WALL-E, EVE, the portly captain, and a band of broken robots stage a mutiny.

In terms of quality and the story writing that has gone into this who would've expected an animated feature with stretches of near silence, a deeply intellectual and ecological rant, and a robot with relatively few bells and whistles to be profoundly moving, uplifting and thought-provoking piece. And yet at the same time still entertaining? WALL-E hits those marks effortlessly, and how?

Much of the credit is due to Andrew Stanton, who directed and co-wrote the film, which takes Pixar's success in turning out animated hits to the next level. 

There's lots of intiment development scenes in this, in fact the film is full of them because I think the prime focus was all about highlighting the importance of valuing something for just how important it is. As well as having action and comedy in their to spice things up and connect to an all round audience, this film is visually spectacular and one of the best PIXAR Film for that reason. 9/10

NEXT : Bird man.

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