Thursday, 21 May 2015

Movie Review: Tomorrowland

Next Review: Spy

For a film that shares its name with Disney's futuristic theme park, with an original script both written by director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Ratatouille) and Damon Lindelof (Lost series creator, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness), both who are also producers as well, combined with the veil of secrecy surrounding it, the film is sure to create a lot of buzz before its release. But does it live up to the hype? In my opinion, it does.

Tomorrowland is a suspenseful, thought-provoking, compelling, fun and entertaining sci-fi action thriller adventure. In a world that's filled with remakes and sequels (not to say all of them are bad), it feels fresh to see something new for a change. Based on Walt Disney's optimistic philosophy of futuristic innovation and utopia, Tomorrowland is a city of the 'future' (not literally, but metaphorically) free of real world politics, bureaucracies or any stringent law policies, built to give free rein for the hopeful creative thinkers and intelligent inventors to create and achieve wonders beyond imagination.

The film starts with a young Frank Walker who arrives at the 1964 World's Fair to enter an inventor contest with a personally designed jetpack that's not quite functioning as expected. The judge quickly dismiss his 'invention' by saying that it's utterly useless if it doesn't work. But young Frank argued that it's the idea, courage to pursue it and the will to keep trying that counts. That pretty much summed up one of the important themes of the film.

The film's greatest strength lies in its ability to draw the feeling of excitement, capturing the spirit of positivity in any of us by showing us the thrill of being in a journey of exploration and discovery with its central theme of mankind necessity for hope, dream and inspiration to outweigh despair and conformity; to encourage creativity, ambition and passion. Brad Bird and Damon Lindelof both did a great job by letting the plot unravels slowly to intrigue the audience while trusting their intelligence to draw real world parallels and understand what the story ultimately trying to say. (Some critics actually complain that a lot of the mysteries were left unexplained at the end, but I beg to differ. If you follow the story and listen carefully what the characters are saying throughout the film, you can figure out the answers yourself.)

As many would say, a film won't work without well-defined, likable characters to support its themes. Britt Robertson and George Clooney both delivered fine performances as Casey and old Frank. When we see the world that Casey lives (space exploration program has been shut down and Casey's dad will be out of job soon), I couldn't help but to think how closely it resembles our world today. People no longer reach for the skies and desire for change, they're mostly money motivated, lack of imagination or just thinking for themselves. Old Frank's character is a reflection of what most of us have become.

On the other hand, Casey's youthful charisma shows her reluctance to give up a possible better future and her sense of wonder fuels her desire to change things for the better, traits that most of us in the real world are lacking now. But it's Raffey Cassidy's character who steals the show. Her character is crucial to the storyline and she's the main driving force for two leads to meet and work together. Given the complexity nature of the script, it's suffice to say that it's no easy task for a 13 year old to play a child with an adult's intellect, especially in one of the emotional key scenes of the film. However, it's rather unfortunate to see that Hugh Laurie's villainous character, Governor Nix having very limited screen time. His character's personality shows a sense of irony when he's giving a thoughtful speech about humanity embracing their inevitable demise by giving up easily through their inaction in addressing real issues, but he is no less different than us. I believe the film will be a certified masterpiece if the writers are willing to allocate enough screen time to explore his character further.

The visuals in Tomorrowland were splendid as expected and it was more than enough to create feelings of excitement, wonder and satisfaction for the viewers to enjoy (ILM done a great job again). The film is essentially showing us a 'vision' of the future, that everything is possible once the discovery of tachyons and gravitons is confirmed and humans are able to harness the capabilities of the particles (In real world, tachyons and gravitons are both hypothetical elementary particles. Tachyon is the particle that travels faster than light at all times while graviton is the particle that mediates the force of gravitation).

However, many of the critics complained that the film doesn't give enough scenes of Tomorrowland and leave them wanting for more instead (Personally, I think it's enough but it wouldn't hurt to show more though). Furthermore, some of them were underwhelmed by the film's ending (saying that it could have been so much more), but they neglect the fact that it's the journey that counts, not the destination. In my opinion, it's one of the best movies that this year have to offer (so far). It's definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 9/10

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." - Albert Einstein

Next Review: Spy

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