Roy Arnie has a dream. One day he will run his own circus and conquer the world. Today, however, he is a stable-hand working in the Circus Stromowski, a miserable Russian big top, run by a hopeless alcoholic fourth generation circus director, Igor Stromowski, and full of useless has-beens and tired animals, which will only perform under the influence of narcotics. Roy Arnie invites his old buddies Gaz and Odd, and their sidekick Flea, to come and work at the circus, and while work is an alien concept to Gaz and Odd, the appearance of an irate criminal who they are indebted to decides the issue. At the circus, Roy Arnie introduces the trio to the star attraction: Jimmy the elephant. Formerly a great sight, but after 20 years at the circus he has become addicted to every drug under the sun. He performs in a purple haze, counting down the days until someone realizes he will be more useful as a set of piano keys. Roy Arnie keeps him going with a complex regime of uppers and downers to ...Written by
Many nice stories and ideas here. Like the sami/lapp mafia, the elephant on drugs, the straight edge activists, etc. Problem is, it is all cramped together on too little time.
In almost every situation in the film, there's a guy talking, someone talking/whining in the background, and then there's some additional sound effect. This adds to the general feeling of lack of focus I'm going to talk more about below.
The underground cartoon this animation is based on, is GREAT, and one of the things it does best is character building. Actually, in my opinion, the cartoon has the best character building I have ever seen in any medium; book, film etc. This film however, is the opposite of that. Most of the lines seem rushed, both from the manuscript side, and from the dubbing actors side. I agree with another commenter here, both me and my girlfriend wanted to watch it in English in stead. The norwegian dubbing is just half-hearted and most actors don't attempt to find and build up the characters at all. Just reading lines and making voices.
As for the CG, some of it is great (the rocky brown autumn nature for instance), some of it not so good. What fails is mostly lighting and animations/dynamics. Some of the coolest graphics in the film are Christopher Nielsens own (hand drawn) animations.
I like the "untraditional" story curves a lot myself, problem is, this never finds a story curve of it's own either. It just stumbles past you, the scenes don't find their "form" in any way. The humor could also be better. It is really funny at one or two occasions.
As a general observation, "Free Jimmy" just left me feeling empty (?) and half annoyed. It felt unprofessional and just badly put together, radiating a lack of experience high up in the production hierarchy. On too many occasions, you can see through the seams of the movie, so to speak. And when people die, in stead of feeling something, you kinda go "eh, what was the point of that".
Luckily, "Free Jimmy" doesn't annoy everyone, especially when people pick this up as an unknown/underground production in some video store, in stead of watching it as a hyped up "expensive" film. I'm glad people are enjoying it and that the producers are getting money for this. For me, it was half disappointing.. just as it was half everything else.
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