Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Film: Shrek Forever After, 2010, Mike Mitchell

Before my trip around Europe, I wanted to update myself with the full-feature animations being shown in the cinemas throughout the UK.
My first choice, because it was released for longer, was Shrek Forever After, directed by Mike Mitchell, it is the sequel of the previous Shrek trilogy and its final chapter.

This film evolves Shrek's last quest to achieve happiness ever after. It starts by Shrek being unhappy with his new self, instead of an ogre from the swamp, he became a loving father, husband and friend. This leads him to question his true identity. Realizing that his life changed, he is persuaded by Rumpelstiltskin, an annoying little character who wants to take over the kingdom of Far Far Away, to return to his old self, by signing a contract. For the contract/spell to have an effect Shrek has to sacrifice a day of his life to receive another, being mislead by Rumpelstilskin, Shrek gives away his birth day, so when the given and wished day is over Shrek would never exist.
Purposely , Shrek is sent to this completely unknown world, where is no longer his swamp, no longer Fiona waiting for the prince charming at the top of the tallest tower, and where his own friends cannot recognize him. He is sent to a world without a trace of Shrek in it, despite all this unfortunate he reunites with Donkey, and together leave on a quest to save Fiona, and the Far Far Away kingdom from Rumpelstilskin evil hands.
His quest can only be complete by breaking the contract/spell, for that purpose Shrek has to kiss his true love, Princess Fiona, however this time she became a complete stranger. Therefore, Shreks embarks on the most difficult he ever faced regain the true love of his wife Princess Fiona.

The film Shrek reunites the public with the Shrek clan, the loving characters that audiences learnt to love, such as the talkative Donkey, the funny Shrek, the adorable Fiona and the cute Puss in Boots.
Firstly, Shrek is an example of great achievement in terms of story-telling and visuals, not only the story offers an unusual way of looking at fairy-tales, where the candy-floss and jelly beans scenarios are not present giving place to a more mindful way, where a lot of psychological problems are being treated, for instance, the insecurity with a new self, or the present idea in almost everyone's life, that when we no longer possess something we start to miss it, as love.
Dreamwork's Shrek Forever After consists in a really good narrative, which is embellished with crucial gags moments, although some presented earlier in Shrek films, like the irresistible cat's eyes,these "tricks" are used to appeal the public and gain reputation.
Not only in narrative, but also in visuals, Shrek Forever After shows a massive leap done in CG visuals between the first 1999 Shrek and this one, 11 years distance these two films, and its visible that CG is becoming a powerful tool to create realistic environments and astonishing atmospheres.
The use of different cameras emphasizing on the film's action scenes, and the use of a more realistic lighting in the CG world to add atmosphere to scenarios that once had a bland look.
In my opinion, Shrek Forever After is a great film, and a perfect ending chapter for its series, also it overshadows the less interesting Shrek The Third, as it deals with more important situations in life associated to Shrek the Ogre.

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