To think of it, I just saw the best romantic movie of the year. And it’s in animation. Andrew Stanton’s (yes, the same, the director of Finding Nemo) Wall.E is, in my opinion, from Pixar’s top shelf and took a quite some time coming. Especially after the last few. That the creative team went into a shell and did their bit of introspection shows in Wall.E. Minimum pontificating, which otherwise, given the setting, could have made a moral science text book out of the movie; and minimum dialogue, which weaves magic on screen.
The plot is predictable yet touching; the pace steady and uncompromising; and the characters, the lynchpin of the movie, well, they are just awesome. Take Wall.E, a waste collecting robot, who has been stranded on Earth with few friendly arthropods, while the rest of entire human race has migrated to space only to come back when the pollution ridden planet is fit for life. Wall.E’s day starts with recharging his(no, he is not an it!) batteries under the sun, and then taking his lunch box goes to work, compacting metal wastes into boxes and making obelisks of them. There he collects odds and ends, teddy bears, a spork, a Rubik’s cube, toaster, and if he is lucky a green sapling. He goes back home at the end of the day, listens to his favourite video of Hello Dolly. Lonely Wall.E almost with hazy eyes watches longingly at a couple holding hands. Finally he cradles himself to sleep like a baby. By this time, if you are watching the movie, you are bound to fall in love with Wall.E.
Then comes Eva, a white next-next-generation robot, with blue eyes and shiny curves, who blows up everything that moves with her gun. Until she (again, not it) meets Wall.E. Wall.E by then has fallen head over heels for Eva, who floats around scrutinising the planet for her classified mission (which is looking for plant life). Wall.E takes her to his apartment of sorts, and like a kid shows her his most enviable collection of knickknacks. Eva then spots the green plant, and taking it, goes into a hibernation mode!
Eva is taken back to the spaceship where humans stay, and Wall.E follows. Here the movie becomes quite predictable, especially if one has been watching Kubric and reading Huxley. Brave New World, seven hundred years into the future, with overweight Americans sipping colas on a spacecraft isn’t much of a surprise. After lots of flying around, rogue robots, an Auto pilot (with voice-over from MacIn Talk), lots of little symbols and a few itsy-bitsy homage, disdain for Big Corporations, a lovable captain, they come back to Earth and live happily ever after. The End.
Not much of a story, eh? But, by now, you are not watching it for the story in the first place. You are there for Wall.E, who quite like Nemo has made a beeline for your hearts! Every movement of Wall.E is impulsive, idiosyncratic and suggests a though process which stems from the being itself, this I feel is a singularly great achievement in animation. And the idea of having robots convey strong emotional message without words, itself demands a bow! Another spectacularly entertaining movie from Pixar.