Film Review 42: Up

When it comes to music, I love happy sad-songs and sad happy-songs. The irony between the melody and lyrics gives deeper meaning to the songs. I guess that’s what I like about Up. Up is a bittersweet animation which celebrates life in its own special way.

Carl Friedericksen first met Ellie, an eccentric girl who share his passion for adventure, in an old dilapidated house. His life takes flight from there as they grow up, get married, share their lives together through it all, until Ellie passed away. Carl is now a 78 years grumply old man who lives in the middle of a construction site. He refuses to move out of his house which he has built with Ellie. Unfortunately, he was forced to move into a retirement home after he unintentionally hit a construction worker. Reluctant to comply, he decides to fly away in his house with helium balloons! So he managed to escape from outside world… only to find out he’s stuck with Russell, an 8 years old, persistent Wilderness Explorer who wants to earn “Assisting the Eldery” badge to get promoted to senior explorer. Now they’re thousand feet above the ground, floating to Paradise Falls and embarking in an adventure of a lifetime which includes meeting a giant bird, talking dogs, etc.

I watched this film in 3D. Usually I try to avoid 3D movie because I get a little dizzy watching the effect but Up’s story is so mesmerising, I forgotten all about it. Pixar has made numerous outstanding animation such as The Incredibles, Monster Inc, Finding Nemo, etc. I used to find it hard to name my favourite, but now I will definitely pick “Up”.

It’s pretty unusual to have a cranky old man as protagonist of an animation. Most people tend to regard animation as children movie and kids will have difficulty relating to the old man. But nowadays animation is not only for kids, especially Pixar animation. In fact, I think Up is an adult movie told in childlike manner. In the movie, Carl’s whole life story is told before us and it makes us understand how his past encounters shaped him to become the way he is. We can feel the lively spirit hidden behind the grumpy old man. There’s more than meet the eyes. Life is depicted in bittersweet melody and brilliant colours which leaves you feeling a little sombre yet calm.

I could go on telling what I love about Up but I would rather you see it for yourself. Up might not be as entertaining as Pixar’s previous masterpieces but I’m sure it carries deeper message and brings more tears to audiences. Speaking of which, I have to say the animation hits you right at the start. 10 minutes into the movie, I was sobbing hard. The movie is really touching and the best part is that it convinced me that life is one big adventure.

Personally, Up is one of my favourite movies.

Mel says: 9/10

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