Apollo 10 1/2
It has been a while since I watched and reviewed an animation film. So when I got to know that Richard Linklater has brought out his new film Apollo 10 1/2 on Netflix, naturally I was excited to watch it. The director of legendary films like Before Sunrise and more importantly Waking Life, there was no way I was going to miss out on his new film. And by the look of it, the animation technique used seemed to be similar to that in Waking Life, a technique known as Rotoscope wherein animation is super imposed on real imageries. And I finally finished watching Apollo 10 1/2 : A Space Age Childhood on Netflix last night. Is the film worth your time, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Set in 1969, Apollo 10 1/2 is the coming of age story of a young boy centered around the historic Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Now, I know many 90s kids including myself who would instantly take a trip down nostalgia at the drop of a hat. The reality is that same is the case with our parents who have grown up through the 60s, 70s and 80s. And here is the thing, every generation had a similar lifestyle when technology and cell phones weren’t present. So even though I am a 90s kids, I could relate to so many of the events from the film which is set in the 60s. And the format of the narrative is such that it unfolds from the gaze of a narrator, almost like your grandmother narrating you stories of her childhood. There is an instant sense of nostalgia which kicks in, be it the summer holidays which were so much fun, to times in school which I really miss. From making trips to the theatre wherein my heart would pound with joy of watching something out of the world on the Big Screen, to enjoying a chocolate icecream cone on a hot summer day or visiting an amusement part, it was such a beautiful life back then, free of any troubles and complications. And this is exactly what is shown, wherein the entire film is narrated with a few dialogues thrown in here and there which seemed like a bedtime story.
The entire space bit filled with fantasy of visualizing yourself at the turn of any significant event(for me it was cricket), is any boy’s dream. From gathering in front of the television to witness the historic event and having our small private celebrations, we have done it all and that is wonderfully shown in the film as well. The screenplay is simple yet taut and to the point which ensures there isn’t a single dull moment. With several relatable moments, the screenplay is an absolute winner.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are relatable and will instantly transport you to your childhood irrespective of the era. The BGM is good and blends well with the drama. The animation is top notch and I would welcome more filmmakers exploring tgis space. Director Richard Linklater is a prolific storyteller and this tale seems very personal to his life. He was born in 1960 in Houston, Texas too and so in a way this is his story. And I love it when filmmakers take you on a trip of nostalgia giving a glimpse of their childhood. And hw has done a phenomenal job here.
Lee Eddy as Mom does a fabulous job as do Glen Powell aa Bostick and Zachary Levi as Kranz. Natalia LAmoreaux as Vicky and Daniella Guilbot as Stephanie are first rate. But the show belongs to Milo Coy as Stan and Jack Black aa the Grown Up Stan who are exceptional here. All other performers have done a great job as well.
Apollo 10 1/2 is a beautifully nostalgic trip down memory lane which will take you back to your childhood irrespective of the era where it is set in. Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended!