I’ve been watching too many films. The unusual thing is that most of them have been good. I know it’s strange. But it’s a lucky streak.
Mary and Max is one of the sweetest films I’ve seen in a long time. Two brilliantly etched characters – living rather far from each other, and so different in every way. An age difference of about 36 years. Both lonely and introspective. With such dark humour and such compassion for both. Here’s a nice long meaty trailer.
Mary’s character is brilliant. At 8, she’s everything that a kid often is. Confused, miserable, happy, delighted by tiny things, lonely and chatty. And she grows up into something not quite that lovable. Yet, she’s wonderful in her own way, as you discover. Your empathy for her never strays because you’ve seen her as a young child.
Maybe that’s true for life in general. People I’ve known as children, I have more compassion for them. As though in my head, they remain helpless lumps of baby fat and stubby limbs.
Max is exactly the character who would exasperate you in real life because you have no idea why he behaves the way he does, you have no access to the way his mind works. Why he says what he does. His inability to relate to other people, or understand facial expressions. In the film though, you see him through his eyes, and hers. Like I said, brilliant film. Watch. ASAP.
One of the striking features of the film is that it’s based on Claymation – a sort of stop motion animation. It has a certain effect that ordinary animation doesn’t appear to have. For one thing, since there is so much depth in the frame, you stop thinking of them as ‘cartoon’ figures. And yet, their anguish and joy can be over the top as required.
On that note – anyone remember Pingu? The same Claymation stuff at work here. Here’s a bit of Pingu that was censored apparently.