It appears that I’m simply against animated film produced by mainstream, popular animation studios. So I found it hard to ignore the hardened prejudice that gloated maliciously at the premise of American-Dream-turned-sour-but-yet-somehow-managed-to-save-face-due-to-the-individualism-of-the-hardworking-underdog, or precisely, the hardworking bunny rabbit. While the story was one of empowerment and social mobility, and therefore, the same-old, I was delighted at the meta-generic Godfather spoof and the Sloth bureaucracy. The Fox is charming and suave, basically the same-old Flynn Rider, with an adorable suave shrewdness, bad only due to circumstances, and not incorrigible; the Bunny whats-her-name naïve and optimistic like those rote female protagonists representing a better future and converting the beast into prince–in this case, good cop. Continue reading
Dangal, the new Aamir Khan production in collaboration with Disney studio, is in the tradition of Pink (2016), made under the ‘girls are great’ banner, but with lesser didacticism and better cinematic sense. Dangal is directed at the crude, patriarchal, institutionalized mindset characteristic of the average Indian man or woman, and, this is important, not at the enlightened, highbrow, nitpicking intellectual, like you or me. It is, first and foremost, an entertainer. And does it’s job well.
A 14-year old genius, Hero (Hiro) takes revenge for his brother’s martyrdom-cum-murder. He is helped by his brother’s nerdy and eccentric friends and a health-care robot, Baymax. Perhaps, I am mistaken, but Japanese anime and Disney’s ordinary brew seems to have been unappealingly mixed up; the characters have Japanese names, but look American, the place is San Fransokyo in a future era.
The surprising thing is the scene of mourning where everybody is in black. Death and grieving, normally so out-of-place and convenient in Disney, looked unfamiliar but real (it needed a futuristic setting for realism). Another offbeat design is the pro-health message (those who do health care are equally superheroes), despite the violence and high speeding (“Always buckle up!”).
The final message: Revenge is no good. You lose what you lose, you can merely hold on to memories and souvenirs, in this particular case, robots. Death is real.
CLOWNIN’ Score: 3/5
* of the Big Bang Theory TV series, NOT the author.