Saturday, July 12, 2008

WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008) A-

Finally- an American animated film that matches the visual beauty and poetry of Hayao Miyazaki's best work. I had my doubts going in (how are they going to make a story about the only robot left on Earth interesting?) but from the first thrilling minutes, all of my fears were put to rest. Seeing the lonely WALL-E wander around a deserted Earth, compacting garbage into small cubes and building enormous skyscrapers with them, made my heart ache for the poor little thing. All he wants is someone to hold hands with, but the only companion around is a little cockroach who follows him around. Then, the lovely robot Eve comes from the sky and WALL-E sees a potential companion in her. At first, Eve is rather cold towards him, but she eventually comes around and a relationship starts to build between the two. Unfortunately for WALL-E though, he shows her a plant he has found and she immediately snatches it and shuts off, waiting for a space ship to come bring her back to where she came from. WALL-E doesn't understand why she shuts off, but when they come back for Eve, he chases after her, not wanting to lose the only things he has ever felt connected to. The romance between the two robots- whether on Earth or in the space station that the two travel to- is one of the most pure and beautiful I've seen since maybe the silent era. This realization got me thinking: romances just work better when the two leads don't speak too much. I mean, which is more convincing- a couple who keeps repeating "I love you" over and over again (as they do in Wuthering Heights) or a couple who only needs to use their eyes and faces to communicate the same thoughts. My favorite scene in the entire film is when WALL-E and Eve are outside the space station, playing around in the vast emptiness of space, having fun and loving their time together. Even if the conclusion comes about too quickly and the science behind the plot is a little elementary (then again, this is aimed towards children), the central romance between WALL-E and Eve and Stanton's beautiful world that he has created is reason enough to see this film.

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