When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a stump in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child; but its appetite is much greater than that of a normal child.Written by
bob the moo
Interesting but very strange direction and animation put me off
When a childless couple learn that they cannot have children, it causes great distress. To ease his wife's pain, the man finds a piece of root in the backyard and chops it and varnishes it into the shape of a child. However the woman takes the root as her baby and starts to pretend that it is real. When the root takes life they seem to have gained a child but it's appetite is much greater than a normal child.
On paper this story sounds interesting and, for the first 20 minutes, it seems to be establishing a rich vein of dark humour but the delivery of the story really takes away from it. The direction is mostly to blame I think, as it seems to be overly deliberate and lacking visual style. Instead it has far too many close ups whether it be of faces or (for some unknown reason) soup, tea, sandwiches and anything being eaten. This grossed me out and little and I found most of the animation to be pretty typical of the very rough visceral stuff that you get coming out of Eastern European production companies.
The visuals do really damage the whole film, but I'm open to the fact that I simply don't like this style of animation a style which was fed into the live action stuff. As a fairy tale it works OK in essence but the weaknesses take away so very much from it. The performances are not really very good. The husband overacts while the wife is either loving or hysterical. The other characters are pretty unpleasant including a snotty little brat and a paedophilic old man (again, I couldn't see the reason for close up animation of a hand coming out of his fly).
Although I do try and watch stuff that is different and try to appreciate it on it's own merits, this was too much for me. The direction was awful, the characters poor and, although the story was new to me and interesting, the weaknesses only served to distract me from everything else. The only thing I can assume is that this was the director's first film and that he brought student habits with him.
5 of 13 people found this review helpful.
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