Thursday, June 01, 2006

Fence and Sensitivity

It must be pretty clear from the contents of this blog that I love movies. But I also love going to the movies. I love the previews, I love the growing anticipation before the movie starts, I love munching on the popcorn and I love the big screen and the loud sounds. So I felt stifled when the theater trips were drastically cut down after Kavya was born. The trips that were guaranteed every weekend turned into rare outings and I was left desperately waiting for the DVD release date.

That’s why children’s movies are great! They have allowed me to atleast go back the theaters. I may not be thrilled by the movie but atleast I get the theater-going experience. So it wasn’t too surprising that I was as excited as Kavya when I went to see Over the Hedge last weekend.

The movie was a lot of fun and Kavya enjoyed herself. The animals are cute and there are a lot of visual gags that appealed to her. Unfortunately, the fun didn’t last till the end. Children’s movies always convey a message and such messages are rarely learned without the main characters going through some difficulties. Here the message is that one shouldn’t use others and should be faithful to their friends. And on the way to conveying the message, the animals get caged.

Kavya is incredibly sensitive. The tiniest disappointment can make her burst into tears and it doesn’t take a lot to make her sad. Seeing the sad faces of the animals as they were taken away led to another sad face, this time on Kavya. But that sadness was atleast shortlived as they escape pretty soon. The bigger problem was that a bear is the bad guy in this film. But ever since Baloo in Jungle Book, Kavya likes bears. So as the bear in Over the Hedge falls down and gets beaten up and flies away after being tied to balloons, the tears flowed rather freely and didn’t stop until the end credits came up. Kavya was probably the only kid who came out of the film crying!

But overall, she did have fun and surprisingly, so did I. The movie works quite well for adults too. The dialogs are smart and there are a number of clever jokes. The movie takes a lot of digs at the American lifestyle and the importance it affords to food and eating. And the staple of any animated film that also aims to appeal to adults - digs at other movies - is also present. I noticed nods to atleast two movies – Citizen Kane and A Streetcar Named Desire.

10 Comments:

At 11:34 PM, Anonymous deepa said...

kavya's reaction was so cute balaji :) kids' innocence & loyalty are truly priceless! as is their ability to see things as black&white only

sounds like a fun movie, worth checking out the dvd when its out...

 
At 12:10 AM, Blogger visithra said...

aww shes so sweet - i was sitting next to a 3 year old n her dad - the kid was scared of the bear - but it was defiently a fun movie - hammie is my favvvvvvvvvvvvvv ;)

 
At 12:22 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

deepa, yeah. thats why its more fun watching them enjoy the movie than watching the movie itself :)

visithra, that would've been a more natural reaction. but this i just didnt know how to handle since liking bears is not such a bad thing after all :)

 
At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Balaji, we took Mahalakshmi to her very first theater Hollywood movie experience, which was Over the Hedge last weekend. Overall, I should say, she did enjoy herself thoroughly. Of course, like Visithra said, Hammie was so cute and so was the skunk Stella. They've really put a lot of thought and effort to making this film appealing to adults as well.. quite a feat in this day and age! :-)

 
At 3:44 AM, Blogger prakash said...

You never know with these kids. The first movie I took my son to was 'Hanuman', when he was over 2. Figured he'd have fun with the movie, and also with so many kids in the theater.

The moment we approached the theater, he started getting nervous. Guess he wasn't used to seeing so many kids in one place. And when we went into the dark theater, that was it. He started bawling, and wanted to go home. I had to bring him out, and bribe him with some candy to keep him quiet. When the movie started, I dragged him back in. Once baby Hanuman came on screen, he got into it and just loved it :)

 
At 3:47 AM, Blogger Nish Niruthan said...

Your daughter sounds like one of those "cheek pinching" types lol

I love movies that both kids and adults can enjoy. My personal favourite in this category is Shrek that has sooo many visual gags to satisfy children and the slight nods and innuendo's to keep the adults entertained.

However, I would advise you to be careful when selecting movies to go along with your kids. There are too many fools who dont bother to check up on movies and go solely based on the names. I was reading the rants of a very idiotic couple who were complaining about "Bad Santa" that they took their daughter to.

Cheers,
Nish

 
At 12:39 PM, Anonymous ram said...

I should make note of all this, BB, for I'd be doing all this (and maybe even posting a blog entry!) in a few years from now...good, "useful" reading, all of this. elaam ready except my "yamini, yamini!" aahaa...ipdi polamba vechutaaley...!

 
At 4:19 PM, Anonymous deepa said...

clever title balaji :)

 
At 7:35 AM, Blogger Me too said...

"Kavya is incredibly sensitive" - I'm glad that my daughter has company! A few months back, she saw 'Nemo', her first full length movie that too on the small screen but was in tears almost the whole time. The loud bgm, Nemo separated from family etc. made her so sad!!

BTW, advance birthday wishes to Karthik!

 
At 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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