Wall-E

You can’t have missed all the talk about the big kids’ movie of the summer. Being a big kid myself, I couldn’t resist going along.

I thought it was really good. As has been widely reported, it starts with a fairly long section with no human beings, and hence no dialogue, since neither Wall-E nor Eve speaks. But despite there being no narrative, I think the story starts very strongly, with the film showing us Wall-E’s lonely life, rather than just telling us about it. I thought this part of the movie was brilliant, and very touching, as we see him going about his mission to clean up a ruined earth singlehandedly.

It then all changes once Wall-E meets Eve, and together they go to the Axiom, where we see what has become of the human race. As you’d expect, it’s not a pretty picture, as humanity has had nothing to do for 700 years – not even having to stand up (living in hover chairs), or having to chew (since everything comes in a cup). But the movie, while damning of our throwaway culture and increasing obesity, doesn’t lecture too much. Indeed, at the end it shows the triumph of the human spirit, as the captain takes on the challenge of returning to earth, and to a long slow rebuilding, which is shown in the closing titles.

Unexpectedly, this film manages to be a touching love story, an object lesson in how to treat our world and its resources, and a cartoon comedy. I think it’s a great combination.
But be warned that other people I’ve spoken to think that the lack of dialogue makes the film boring, and they didn’t like it much at all. Philistines…

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