I wonder why a children’s story or a movie is loaded with so many negative connotations for adults – in terms of watchability. Label a movie “Children’s movie” and an ‘Adult’ would rather watch a more ‘adult’ movie, even if its is absolutely mindless – American Pie and its ilk which are somehow labelled ‘teen’ movies.
Well, in my humble opinion, something egregiously horrible happens when the transition happens from the children genre to the teenage one and which continues to the ‘adult’ section. I would rather that the teens stick to the children movies until they have better sense to choose their movies.
Anyway about this movie..
This is a wonderful movie about some of the things we conveniently forget – faith, magic, hope, grace and love. Its about what we consider to be a part of childhood childishness and try to forget; but which we crave for in secret, secret even from us. Most of all, it teaches us about death and how it is a part of living and something you can even look forward to.
Natalie Portman, a musical prodigy whose initial promise has not translated to adult success, handles the emporium which is basically a magical-magic shop. Its owner is Dustin Hoffman, a mysterious grandfatherly figure who is more than two and half centuries old. He makes magical toys for children who adore his shop (They don’t consider it to be a toy shop at all). He is endearingly eccentric and childishly wise (an oxymoron that the viewer of the movie would understand)
Well, he decides to ‘leave’ one day and wants to leave the shop to Portman. The story of the movie unfolds as she tries to find within herself what she wants to do – with the shop, with her life. Playing a major role in all this is Eric, a ten year something boy who is determined to save the shop.
The story is rendered in quiet humour and gentle charm. You know it would be a happy ending but you still wait for it – wait for the magic to happen. And it has one of the best parting dialogues I have heard.
Mr. Edward Agrium: [to Molly, about dying] When King Lear dies in Act V, do you know what Shakespeare has written? He’s written "He dies." That’s all, nothing more. No fanfare, no metaphor, no brilliant final words. The culmination of the most influential work of dramatic literature is "He dies." It takes Shakespeare, a genius, to come up with "He dies." And yet every time I read those two words, I find myself overwhelmed with euphoria. And I know it’s only natural to be sad, but not because of the words "He dies." but because of the life we saw prior to the words.
[pause, walks over to Molly]
Mr. Edward Agrium: I’ve lived all five of my acts, Mahoney, and I am not asking you to be happy that I must go. I’m only asking that you turn the page, continue reading… and let the next story begin. And if anyone asks what became of me, you relate my life in all its wonder, and end it with a simple and modest "He died."
A movie that everyone would enjoy – it might be a common story and you instinctively know the ending but you enjoy the way it is told and the acting supports the story brilliantly. And yes, though the movie needs to be labelled something for marketing purposes, this is as much as a ‘normal’ movie as any. Its more meaningful than most of the blockbusters out there (maybe ‘grownup’ movie are the ones which can spend a percentage of GDP on them)