Wednesday, June 10, 2009

up, up, and away!

i don't know how pixar does it, but they always manage to surprise their fans. people come to the theater expecting the goods but somehow they find a way to give the audience more than what they came for.

and "up" is no exception. i knew that the movie is gonna be good based on the reviews coming from cannes (where the movie premiered) but, you know how it is when you show up with a huge expectation -- you are more than likely to come out less impressed. it's like bringing a list and a pen with you to the theater and you try to check off everything that you are supposed to find. in the case of "up", you find out that the list is not as thorough after all. you discover that the movie delivers more than you what you expected it to.

my readers, i am so happy to report that my imaginary list was completely checked off. what i missed to prepare for was to save the napkins i had from the concessions stand. knowing pixar's penchant to surprise the audience with unanticipated poignancy of its every movie, i should have expected that "up" would likewise make me fight off some tears - nah, many tears actually, i think i even heard my friend xtn sobbing throughout most of the first fifteen minutes of the movie. i don't understand why images of people growing old leave me so sad all the time. must be because am already on my way there?

the tears wasn't really surprising at all, because, like "wall-e", a portion of the prologue utilized minimal dialogues and was told mostly with a series of vignettes as we get introduced to the grumpy lead character accompanied by a gentle yet quite moving suite of string musical composition (used throughout the movie in not too few variations) - scenes were so lovely yet floods you with a deep sense of melancholy.

"up" tells the story of an old man and an overeager "wilderness explorer" boy, as they go on an adventure trip to complete the old man's promise he made as a boy to a girl he dearly loved. along the way, they get to encounter a host of talking dogs and an extra-friendly giant bird.

the movie is smartly written. there are so many metaphorical images that parents would so love to have their children ask them about so they could be able to explain the meaning and importance of those seemingly insignificant actions. questions about love, death, growing old, our dreams, and promises we make to each other are some of the topics the movie subtly tackles.

there's a scene just before the climax that really did it for me. i was a like a dam bursting into a patch of dry land. yes i wept, but not with real sadness for the character, but for the sweet melancholy of the old man's late discovery. i don't want to spill what's it about, but you know when you reach that point that it is somewhat expected yet it never feels contrived.

"up" can be viewed in two ways. children will have a lot of fun with the colorful characters - the talking dogs, especially, while adults will be reminded that an adventure is not about going to places new and undiscovered, but how you view your everyday experiences: a walk to the mailbox is actually an adventure, only if you choose it to be.

it seems that our biggest regret is not really about our failure to get to do what we want to do but about not recognizing those small things that we actually did.

i so love the movie, go watch it... while i sniff away my building tears.


Anonymous said...

hey i was in your blog....xtn is the name hehehe :)

Anonymous said...

i love up so much!!!! - entertainment