The story of Carl and Ellie as told in the cartoon film “Up” is probably one of the saddest stories I’ve watched in a long long time. It made me cry from the very beginning. Which I somehow found a bit annoying, because being a Pixar film, I was ready for a lighthearted, comedic film. I wasn’t ready for a heart-breaking, only-to-be-understood-by-adults storyline.
The problem was that the beginning, the scene setting was too adult-like (never in a million years would children understand the whole significance of Carl’s and Ellie’s friendship, relationship, and sad sad ending) but then they introduce all kinds of fantastic (as in “fantasy“, not “great“) elements more adequate for a kiddie’s film (the talking dogs, the balloons lifting the house, etc). It just didn’t add up.
It is, however, a beautiful film that makes you laugh and cry, with its own moral at the end (follow your dreams and don’t postpone your adventures) and all that. But the underlying story of Carl losing his wife is so overpowering, that it leaves a very bitter taste in your mouth for hours and hours after the film has finished. I wonder if the creators realised this when making it and if that was their purpose…
I had already seen Panic Room when it originally came out, but I watched it again last night on DVD.
And I liked it again, I mean, it was okay. It is not one of the titles I would put under “My 100 favourite films of all time” but it was an enjoyable watch. Especially because of the very good performance of Jodie Foster.
The plot is very basic: Divorced (or separated) middle aged woman and teenage daughter move into this four-storey house which has got a “panic room”: a room where to hide if someone breaks into the house. And guess what. Yes, three guys break in. They are looking for some money (a few million dollars) that are hidden guess where, yes, in the panic room. And the rest you can imagine: The mother and daughter go and hide in the panic room, the thieves try and try to get into the room, the daughter happens to be a diabetic and suffers a fit when she’s all stressed and deshydrated.
Out of the three thieves worth mentioning the perfomance of Forest Whitaker, who is meant to be the good one among the bad ones. Also worth mentioning how ugly Jared Leto looked in the film (I won’t mention his acting, there’s not much to mention about it). Those plaits in his hair were just aweful. C’mon, he was meant to be a rich guy in the film, the grandson of a multimillionaire… You would have thought that the costume/art department would have something better in mind for a such an attractive guy.
The film is directed by David Fincher, who is the director or Se7en. I think Se7en is the type of film that one would never repeat the success of. Fincher makes a very good attempt at trying with Panic room, but I’m not a film critic so I won’t get into technical details.
An interesting bit of trivia is that Maynard James Keenan (singer of Tool and A Perfect Circle) was offered the role of Raoul (one of the baddies) but he turned it down due to other commitments. Shame, it would have been interesting to see him.