Tuesday, August 25, 2009

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: Review of 'UP'


UP, UP and AWAY: Chasing Dream through a Child’s eye!

By Earvin Charles B. Cabalquinto


Yesterday, I got a chance to watch this year’s highly-anticipated, adorable and comedy film from Disney and Pixar titled “UP.” In a gist, the film not only makes you teary eyed and gives you HUGE laughs, but it leaves you to reflect on your personal adventures especially on chasing one’s own dream. I guess that’s the reason why this film is not only made to tickle a child’s imagination, but more importantly, it is also highly recommended to adults. With that, seriously, I’m giving this film a THUMBS UP! Believe me, it’s a must-see movie!


“UP,” written by Pixar veteran Bob Peterson and co-directed by Peterson and Monsters, Inc. director Peter Docter, chronicles the life of a 78-year old balloon salesman named Carl Friedricksen who ties a balloon on his house and heads off to wander in the wilds of South Africa to be at Paradise Falls. Without this old man’s knowing, a cute eight year old wilderness explorer named Russell is with him on his journey. As the two explorer ventures into the wilderness, they discover new adventures and encounter predators which will teach them how to be a kid and a grown up man to better understand reality.

Apart from the stunning 3D visual, the robust colours and the perky characters, what makes the film a delightful treat is while the story brings everyone in a magical and fairy-tale like hype through the house tied in balloons, the plot specifically grounds the oddity and complexity of reality in a symbolical grandeur. Topped with a smooth build up of character introduction and real-life processes, the film leaves everyone with mixed emotions and reflective.


The film articulates an overarching lesson which intends to inspire the audience: If you have a dream, chase that dream and make it happen. This is the sole reason why the major character Carl Friedrickson, despite his weak knees and blurring eye vision because of old age, defies the imposition of his society by just placing him under the Shady Oakes retirement custody and follows his dream and his’ wife’s ambition adventure as encrypted on its My Adventure Book. Looking back, Carl’s dream started upon watching Charles Muntz, an popular explorer of the Spirit of Adventure Voyage, who happens to be transformed into a cunning guy in fulfilling his once-in-a-lifetime adventure: to find the colourful bird. Then again, what’s more powerful on that big morale being painted, as the film reveals the obstacles and the complexities before reaching the end, the film teaches everyone to at least ponder and see what’s on the present as we chase pavements which may only tire and rotten our identity as human beings. True enough, despite the high mountains we have to climb and the jungle we have to conquer, we have to be compassionate to others in order to find happiness, fulfillment and even a home out of the wilderness. And as the balloons take away the house, it snatches the hedonistic quest away from Carl which enkindles the sweet memories of him with his wife Ellie which make a wooden house into a hefty home.

For a major weeper kind of viewer, this film is totally a tear jerker. While the appetizing visual feeds your senses, the real life scenarios embraces you more which can make you fall in tears. First, who wouldn’t shed a tear upon seeing an old man who lived a happy life with his wife is suddenly left alone as his wife dies. Second, how about seeing and feeling the emotions of an old guy holding his wife’s adventure book. And as the old guy leaf the pages, he realizes his wife lived its life adventure even better just simply being with him. And third, despite the rants and conflicts, how about seeing an old man slowly walks on the stage to award a badge to a boy who teaches him more about life and saves him from falling in a selfish and lonely place. All in all, these are highlights which thread the film’s constant heartwarming appeal. Then again, surely, the film will never fail to make you laugh, BIGTIME!

The film invites the audience to see the world in a child’s eye. That is well conversed through the hyper, bubbly and expressive character of Russell. With a sole goal to assist an old man in order to earn a badge and be promoted as a senior wilderness explorer, Russell does not only learn the real “jungle” by being with Carl, but unknowingly, he imparts not only assistance, rather, he also creates a life-changing impact on the old man’s life, by sharing his compassion and high spirit. In end, the old man sees his dream transformed by finding his new adventures with Russell which now defines a happy home.


As seen on any children story, the film interplays symbolical icons to voice the reality of the society. Carl may represent individuals who brave no matter what are the odds to follow their dreams. Russell may be viewed as a passionate and driven newbie ready to learn from the real wilderness but happens to create an impact on his surrounding. Charles Muntz can be weighed as a guy blinded by his selfish journeys. The Colorful Bird and the Paraside Falls may represent a dream. And the balloon which may metaphorically defines an element of moving on or letting go. And the badge may be looked at as an affirmation for a job well done yet being abolished in exchange of the human love and happiness which position the real successes in life. All of these speak well the totality of a current society being cajoled by such economic or simply social spin.


Overall, the film leaves the viewers a new perspective on how to view the world and ones dreams. Indeed, we may hold on to the past, we may keep memories, we may forever chase our dreams, or we can be mad to the world for all its injustices, yet, at the end of the day, we can always have a good laugh with a total stranger, we can learn and be reminded with the basics from a child’s voice, we can defy what the society dictates and delve on our skills, and we can be adventurously fulfilled by simply being with our (new or old) loved ones which make the wilderness possibly habitable and a HOME.



2 comments:

  1. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Margaret

    http://grantsforeducation.info

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  2. Hi Dayana! Thank you very much for enjoying my blog! I appreciate your inspiring words!

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