Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium - Movie Review

The critics trashed this movie but I love, loved, loved it. I was curious to see what the reviewers out at amazon were saying. Most of the one star ratings sited the fact that the movie dealt with death. A death march one called it and another voiced concerns that with family in the service they deal with death enough. Well I don't think so. In fact I think the knee jerk reaction to this movie is that we have a very unhealthy way of looking at death. In fact we by and large don't deal with it and don't hold it close as an eventual reality but rather look for innumerable distractions to avoid dealing with death. Those of us who have experienced death of a loved one or who have taken death into account in how we live our lives will love this movie. Because there isn't one thing threatening about this farcical, colorful, imaginative gem.

I absolutely loved it. This is light fair and while the main character propels the story through his eventual passing (he's hundreds of years old) the fantasy is a celebration of life. How anyone could have missed that I don't know? Far from being a death march as one reviewer called it this movie proclaims that our lives are an occasion and we should live up to it. What a wonderful sentiment. Farcical with pet zebras and toys that posses life plus the sweet acting skills of Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman this movie will warm your heart. Zach Mills does a sweet job as well. You can tell they had fun on this set.

Those that think avoidance of reality is the way to go through life might want to avoid this fantasy story since it obviously deals with three very salient facts.

One - we have been given time on Earth.

Two - how we look at it and approach it is everything.

Three - one day we will in our present form die.

You can't get around that fact but what you do with your life in the meantime is up to you.

Your life is an occasion rise to it - that's a beautiful point of view and the movie does a beautiful job of rising to the occasion of life itself. Friendship, misunderstanding, fear, and seeing the beauty and amazing for what we mistakenly see as the mundane and routine is not fantasy after all but reality. I mean come on we are on a planet spinning in space hurtling through a universe with a sheer layer of oxygen between us and an airless universe. We have amazing creatures such as whales and dolphins and an as yet undiscovered amount of birds and wildlife as our companion travelers through time and space, here and now.

How we look at it and all that is around us is our destiny. I'd say that the majority who don't see this world and all in it as amazing, sacred and beautiful need a wake up call.

This little movie might help remind you how sweet it is....I think I'll go outside now for a stroll and breath deep our air and perhaps lunch on a salad from gods green earth - nothing finer!

Five unabashed stars for wisdom and whimsy - they are not mutually exclusive terms - plus Natalie is adorable - wonderful writing, and beautiful visuals. Watch the DVD extras for info on the set design. They put a lot into this movie and with the right frame of mind you'll get a lot out of it too. Far from morbid it is a delight!

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