Monday, 27 December 2010

Shrek Forever After

In what is reputed to be the final outing for Shrek and his friends we have perhaps the best of the four-movie franchise. All the favourite characters are there as Shrek confronts his own mid-life crisis - yes this is another film about existential angst!

The graphics in this DreamWorks produced film are simply stunning. The smoothness of movement, rendering and transition are simply amazing and take the game to a new level. I know that technology and software are evolving rapidly, but with the way Hollywood is going, it is becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish the real world from the dream world. There aren't any seven-foot ogres in the village I live in, but you know what I mean.

The story is more than good enough and again here we have a film that delights in ripping off/paying homage to nursery rhymes and movies throughout - only in this film it's done with a whole lot more panache and style. Rumplestiltskin is cast as the villain as he entraps Shrek who is going through his own personal mid-life crisis. Cameron Diaz, I mean Fiona, becomes ever more the wonderful wife by the way that she so lovingly demonstrates understanding and doesn't use the opportunity for trying to deploy a 'two wrongs make a right' response. In his own characteristic blundering well-intentioned way, Shrek works out a solution and in the end everyone lives happily ever after - or at least we'll have to assume that, if this is the last in the series.

As with all films exploring this kind of material, it comes with an invitation to examine our own vulnerabilities and weaknesses - the vanities that might just collude with our ego to push us into unhelpful behaviour. We are all of us prone to this from time-to-time, relationally, professionally and vocationally. The need for a regular check-up in the 'how am I doing' stakes may help prevent most outbreaks - as will the attendance of a faithful and loving companion - if we are blessed enough to have one or more.

Alternatively you can watch this film and laugh - especially as Puss in Boots does a wonderful impersonation of Garfield!

It is in the cinemas this Christmas and available on DVD/Blu-ray. Well worth adding to your collection - go and see it. I'll give it 8/10.

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