Thursday, 15 January 2015

Adaptation Film Review : Max & Mary

Max and Mary (2009) is an Australian animation directed by Adam Elliot. Starring the voices of Toni Collette as Mary Daisy Dinkle and Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Max Jerry Horovitz. It is a drama comedy from Australia that manages to be sickly-cute, alarmingly grotesque, and right-on at the same time – often in the very same scene. The animation is a stop animation mould, the creators move the characters and set pieces slightly in each photo frame to illustrate movement in a still world. It is actually based on a true story , the director had a pen-friend with the Asperger's condition. The animation is a adaptation of this fact.

In a brief synopsis, Max and Mary (2009) follows the friendship of two pen-friends whose fates intertwine by pure coincidence, they look to learn more about the world from each other conquering themselves in the process. Set firstly in the mid 1970's, the story spans over 20 years of their friendship. Their ups and downs, agreements and disagreements, a tale of the pursuit of knowledge and loving themselves before others. The main characters as the title suggests are indeed Max and Mary, although their are a couple of other characters that feed into the story as directly.

To my belief the animation was trying to achieve an emotional response in the audience, trying to be relevant with connecting with our exterior and interior flaws. It tried to bring the bleak and uninteresting life of a middle aged New Yorker, with the life of a young intrigued girl from Australia. It did this correctly through the use of clever colour schemes so we could differentiate from the two locations, and the narration of the characters emotions to the audience. I think the animations editing was clean cut throughout, it didn't need many tear aways or transitions due to the fact the story was forever moving forward on screen. The passing of time was illustrated with a straight cut to a panel detailing the time passed from each scene to another. It is quite a disturbing film, it is quite blunt with its explanations of processes. It is both light-hearted and dark humorous. I would recommend this film to people who have seen films such as Coraline and Boxtrolls.


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