Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Book of Life

I know I haven't done a film review in a while. Truthfully I'm not very knowledgeable of film or cinema, and I'm not all that great at writing about it. But within the last week I've seen a couple of really good ones, and I wanted to tell y'all about them. First up...

Since childhood, Manolo has competed with his best friend Joaquin for the love of their childhood friend-crush, Maria. However, when Maria's life is in danger due to a bet between two gods, Manolo goes on a journey to the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten, receiving guidance from his ancestors to find his purpose and save the girl. Part love story/who-gets-the-girl contest, part journey to find one's purpose.

 Seen Saturday October 18th: The Book of Life

What I really like about this movie: The art and effects are stunning! Such lush colors and exquisite detail! The Land of the Remembered sequences especially plunge you into a dream world. I also greatly appreciated the morals of the story, because what's a good animated or children's film without a moral? Along his journey Manolo demonstrates that in order to be a true hero, you have to be selfless. However, though Manolo's passionate and has a pure heart, he is afraid to be himself and reject his family legacy by following his heart's desire of being a musician. Thus the other important lesson that he learns, in conjunction with the "book" theme, is that rather than follow the shadows or pages that others may set for you, it's better to write your own story.

What I don't like about this movie: It started to really be on to something clever and different, with the mixture of a love triangle, Day of the Dead tradition/mythology and a Herculean journey to the Otherworld. But then it just ended the way animated family films always end. Everything is put back in it's place, all that's wrong is made right, and there's a wedding. So the end was kind of predictable, but it certainly didn't ruin the film for me. 

Would I recommend it?: If you're open to musical-comedy-animated-kid films, then definitely!

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