Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wall-E

I was captivated the moment I saw the trailers long back: a tale of a lonely robot cleaning up the earth falls in love with another robot - too good to miss.

----Possible spoilers included------

The outline of the story is this: Earth has become a garbage dump largely due to a monopolistic company which is the new government; they decide to go on a five year space voyage while earth is rejuvenated by robots doing the cleanup; this doesn't go well, the 5 year voyage becomes one of 700 years with humans becoming largely incompetent. Meanwhile this lonely robot goes about his chores and meets a probe(robot) sent to detect regrowth of life. Wall-E falls in love with 'her', who when detects a plant goes into hibernation mode and is taken back to the mother ship to prove life is possible again on earth. Wall-E follows her. And then the rest is about the adventures on board while deciding whether to return to earth or not, entangled with the love story.

Further detail....

Wall-E's is the only robot left on earth after 700 years, along with a single cockroach. He watches a '60s clip on tape via an iPod, imagining how it would be to hold hands with someone else, dancing. He collects interesting things from the dump he is designed to compact, like lighters, bulbs, and so comes across a single plant in a toolbox. The cockroach is his 'pet', feeding it, cajoling it.
He feels very sad at not having a companion like himself.

Then one day this probe lands, ejecting another robot, Eva, supposed to test for life. 'She' is very apprehensive about this guy, avoiding him, misunderstanding him.

But Wall-E is attracted to her at first sight. He want to keep her company, hold her hand, share things with her.... After all, after such a long time of just watching holding of hands on screen, he wants to do it for real.... Only if... She would agree....

But then she is shown the plant which Wall-E had discovered - she automatically stores the plant within herself and hibernates - waiting for the probe to return and pick her up. Wall-E is confused by this sudden shut down and cares for her even then - placing her outside of his small cabin hoping sunlight would do her good or her probe comes back to pick her up - and bring her back to 'life'.

The probe comes back, he hangs on as the probe docks with the mother ship - the one on which the humans are still on a voyage.

Wall-E is still very devoted to Eva. As she is being repaired he mistakes it as she being dismantled, and tries to save her but ends up sabotaging the repair section releasing all the rogue robots.

The plant is a threat to the robots who control the ship because they will be irrelevant if the humans return to earth, so they try to remove the plant whereas Wall-E, Eva and the captain of the ship want to save it. Thence lies some action.

The movie is wonderful because with almost no dialogue and just actions, the sad, desolate life of a robot have been sketched beautifully. Even in the very end, when Wall-E for a moment does not seem to remember his past, you can feel a touch of compassion for the two.. It shows that true, undying relationships are effective if and only if both are aware of how special they are.. Initially it is all Wall-E, later Eva realises that Wall-E truly liked her, taking care of her even when he knew she wouldn't feel it... Happy ending anyway.

The second half of the movie, toward the end is bogged down by trying to include humans, the ending seems to be somehow out of shape in the movie. Humans who've never walked before do so with no effort, the captain's knowledge seems to be amusing.. the first half is so much better and they could've kept it that way.

The cockroach seems indestructible; the other robots have questionable behaviour differences(Mo the cleaner helps in saving the plant, autopilot is not as intelligent as would be wished for... on that note, the robots seem to have been programmed with different levels of intelligence) as the movie progresses. The movie casts the robots as being very very intelligent.

Animation, by Pixar is amazing. It's just too good. The eyes zoom in/out like human eyes, the dust scattering, controlling of zillions of objects to react to a tremor.... Phew...

Should you watch the film? mmmmm... Maybe not.. No hurry to watch it.

The inseparable love of one for another..... Wall-E.

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