Saturday, March 28, 2015
The Book of Life (2014)
First of all, I want to talk about the visuals, my goodness the visuals! I love the colors, the vibrancy, and the designs. The fact that every character in this world looks like they've been carved from pieces of wood and pinned together like little puppets is genius. The detail in the models, from the wood grain, chipped paint, and even the dull shine on the hair work perfectly. It's a playset, filled with twisted detail, bent buildings, and adorable wooden animals. Visually, it's stunning. Everything about the Book of Life is fresh, new, and so freaking inspirational. Kind of reminds me of Little Big Planet? That's a good thing!
The story kept me interested and invested from the very beginning. While the striking art direction kept me drawing in and analysing everything onscreen, the story was full of originality. I enjoyed how the tale cut from present day, with the children hearing the story, to the events that took place with Monolo and Maria. Yes, it's your standard boy meet girl story, but with a wonderful twist. The wager between La Muerte and Xibalba added a lot of interesting tension and drama to the story, while the adventure and overall resolution were filled with so much wonder. I felt like everything wove together exquisitely.
The only thing I can say that I found fault with was how everything kind of worked out in the end. Not a bad thing, at all. This may or may not be a spoiler, but if so, spoilers ahead! I feel like Xibalba gave up too easily, and it was disappointing that the final, end boss if you will, wasn't the undead or the god of death himself. It was still a very impressive battle, but with all the build up of the wager, I wanted to see a final showdown between Xibalba and La Muerte, in grand fashion. I mean, everyone kind of just forgave all the messed up things Xibalba did? There was no consequence to his actions, and none of the other characters, save La Muerte, ever called him out on it.
I mean yes, the day was saved, and they were able to band together and defend the village from the real life threat of invasion, but the root of everything was Xibalba and his twisted need to win the wager! He killed Monolo, and manipulated everything in the story. He was the cause of all their heartache! I know he's a god, and they really can't do anything to stop him, but there wasn't even a bit of a grudge against everything he did? And what's to stop him from messing with their lives later in the future?
Truthfully, I can't really think of anything bad, aside from my nit-picks about the ending. I adored everything about it! The Book of Life is an excellent movie. Easily the best film I had the pleasure of watching all year. It's a visual treat for the eyes every step of the way, fun, and the music and voice acting compliment everything to near perfection. The designs are wonderfully unique. It's odd, quirky, and intriguing in the best sense of the word.
THE BOOK OF LIFE is available now on BLU-RAY, DVD and DIGITAL via FOX. BUY FROM AMAZON BUY FROM AMAZON UK