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Sunday, February 05, 2012


Dear Random Reader,

First off, let me say --

"God gave us relatives. Thank God we can choose our friends."

I don't remember what prompted me to take note of Mary and Max as a must-see film for me last year. Maybe it was because I had read a positive review about it and was talked into proving it myself. Or probably it was because I was enticed by the idea that it could be the first full-length claymation I would lay my eyes on. It could also be that I was just intrigued by the "simplicity" of the film's title and wanted to see for myself the truth behind its rather dull facade. Whatever the reason, I'm glad that it stood me in good stead. Now, I just hope that coming across this write-up would do the same for you.yes

Mary and Max is a comedy-drama clayography that delves into the 20-year pen friendship between Mary Daisy Dinkle (Bethany Whitmore, Toni Collette), a lonely eight-year-old Australian girl, and Max Jerry Horowitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an obese forty-four-year-old Jewish man. A heart-warming story about a friendship that stood the test of time, distance and age gap, this movie in so many ways is unlike childish animated flicks we usually see. It is mature and touches on serious societal issues not commonly discussed (i.e. sex, suicide, depression, mental disability, religious beliefs, among many others) but in a childish frankness approach. This is, in my book, what makes Mary and Max a perfect blend of humor and pain.

Just a few seconds into the film and anyone would be amazed by the amount of passion and talent evident in its every detail, easily reinforced by the fact that Adam Elliot (the film's writer, director and designer) spent five years in making this clay animation.

The animation, though dreary, is excellently done. It made me even think that some of the details were no longer made of clay in that they were so elaborately formed they looked real. It is also commendable that monochromatic hues -- shades of brown for Mary's world, and gray, black and white (along with red in some things intended to depict importance) for Max's -- were employed, as this technique was effective in setting the film's melancholic, dark tone.

I also take my hat off to how each letter was effectively used in developing the characters. The voice talents are superb as well. I was, particularly, impressed with Hoffman's (I honestly don't know him. Is he a Hollywood actor?Photobucket) voice acting. Max's character would not be that endearing sans this man's participation, I think.

However, one aspect that I personally find disconcerting yet oddly entertaining is the use of rather lively musical background -- the song "Que Sera Sera" -- in the scene where Mary is about to commit what she thinks is the way to end all her sufferings (spoiler alert!beh).

To sum it up, Mary and Max, though dark, is an enlightenment that would make you think of the friendships you have surrounded yourself with. More importantly, of the one you have with yourself. Friends may come and go, but the one you should never dispense with is being on great terms with yourself. And if you agree with this claim, go (in good health) and spend the next 92 minutes watching this amazing film.

Sending you a virtual hug,

Just so you don't have to stress yourself looking for one, enclosed herewith is a link to a decent copy of
Mary and Max.

Thanks for reading this entry, by the way.

(Images from here and here)


joja says:
at: 6:42 PM, February 06, 2012 said...

Now I'm interested! Thanks for sharing a link too. I'm gonna watch it (soon, hopefully :P)

I'm Ybeth R. says:
at: 4:18 AM, February 11, 2012 said...

welcome! Oo panoorin mo yan ah! ^_^