Wall-E

Posted on February 10, 2011

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I finally got to see Wall-E. The last Pixar film I saw wasFinding Nemo and I totally, totally loved the film. So naturally, I had great expectations from Wall-E. I initially thought the ending was too lame for such a promising film, but when I started thinking about it, I began to appreciate it.

At a simple level, it is a cautionary tale for kids but the adults in the audience know too much to enjoy the happy ending. And therein lies the final twist of the knife. While the little ones can go back home happy, the adults in the audience are left with a deliberate happy ending, an ending that is too optimistic to be true and the burden that comes with this knowledge. That I believe to be the dual message of Wall-E. It is both a cautionary tale and an apocalyptic message.

While the film is satiric and gentle, to me, the bite and the poignancy of the film is focused on the tiny green plant. Isn’t it such a shock for us when Wall-E discovers that green thing? Odd how we never think of plants when we think of science-fiction or the future. We will need more than that tiny plant if we want to go back Home. Heck, there isn’t even an animal in sight, save for the resilient bug.

Wall-E, the titular character, is Woody Allen in a robotic avtaar. The genius with which the animators were able to evoke Woody left me flabbergasted. The timid, lonely but brave Wall-E is so adorable that you wish the film was about the sweet romance between him and Eve. Wall-E is a collector Andy Warhol would approve of. But watching the lonely Wall-E collect forks, egg-beater, videos, lighter, the remnants of our existance in the wasteland that he calls home also reminded me of the nameless and mythical “I” of Eliot’s Wasteland who shores up fragments against his ruins. The fact that an animation film could evoke and suggest so much is something I find rather extraordinary and humbling given that I have always been somewhat dismissive of them.

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Posted in: Reviews