Unique & Brilliant. In turns depressing and uplifting.
I was so surprised to see so many negative reviews for this movie because I thought it was absolutely brilliant!
Some people found the animation ugly whereas the movement seemed very smooth to me and the realistic expression and emotion they were able to portray with clay faces astounded me! The claymation style was too realistic for me at first, not cartoon-y enough, which gave the movie a very creepy disturbing feel. There are a lot of reds and purples used in the faces that can make the characters seem sickly, but you come to realise that this is a stylistic choice that makes the faces more varied and more like pieces of art than just moving toys. Art is supposed to disturb the comfortable anyhow and this movie does it very well.
I have also heard the movie be critiqued for its jumpy, disconnected plot (it is based on a collection of short stories) whereas I felt that the thematic connections were strong enough that this movie very much felt like a unified whole. The characters are connected by the apartment complex they share and by the kinds of lives they lead and the kinds of problems they face in the plot.
I loved the dialogue in this movie, one of those great works where subtle, very real moments and shifts in relationships are defined by the idiosyncratic way a line is worded in a conversation between characters. I was wrapped entirely in every conversation and each line seemed to carry so much meaning (in a light-hearted kind of way).
The stores range from touching, sweet and hopeful to disturbing and depressing send-ups of life in a post-modern age. You really can take from this what you want- but not because the filmmakers have made ideas vague and unfleshed, but because they have taken so many ideas and fleshed them out in so many different and unexpected ways that you have a whole smorgasboard of meaning to pick, choose, riff on, dissect, abstract and so on.
I don't want to hype it too much because I think part of my love for this movie was due to similarities I have with some characters and how connected this made me feel but please don't dismiss this movie, because it is definitely something very special!
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