The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Onto the next release of the weekend and it is the second theatrical release of this rather quiet weekend. With that, I finished watching the new English animation film The Super Mario Bros. Movie. In times of the smartphones, the video game culture has taken a beating. But it was in the 1990s and early 2000s that all we as kids wanted to do was own a video game console and play with it all day. It was almost a thing to flaunt in our childhood. And if we did not own it ourselves, we would often make a trip to that friend’s place who did own one. And one of the most addictive games along with Tetris was Mario.
Mario was one such game that kept us on our toes. From its bright colour schemes to the innovative setting of the game, it was quite an addiction. The challenge to garner points through its different levels was indeed enthralling and it made for a super holiday every single time. And so when I did get to know that there is a new animation film in town been adapted from the Mario video game, I was keen on what it had in store. So then does The Super Mario Bros Movie manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
The Super Mario Bros. Movie follows the story of Mario as he makes his way into a different world to save his brother Luigi. The story more than anything did seem like a brand building exercize for Nintendo. There isn’t much novelty here but I did like that the story did have elements of nostalgia thrown in its screenplay. And yes, the story would appeal more to kids than anyone else. The screenplay standing at just about 90 minutes does make for a breezy and leisurely watch which can be watched on a lazy afternoon.
The drama does open with the introduction of Mario and his brother who have newly opened their new plumbing business much to the dismay of their father. The sequence involving their first on site job does make for a hilarious chain of events that definitely did grab my attention. But soon a conflict is introduced wherein Luigi disappears after going through a Warp Pipe only for Mario to follow.
The proceedings are entertaining but the characters do not quite have a proper arc. It was almost like going through the motions in terms of the screenplay which had to traverse from point A to point B. Yes, there are constant moments of nostalgia which would often take you back to the good old video game days. But the writing never does enhance the script in any manner. In fact, it is almost clear that the film does have only kids as its target audience which is a good thing but it could so easily have tapped into more intellectual concepts as seen in some of the other animation films.
The events are predictable and follow a safe trajectory without quite raising the stakes. What that does is that while you are partly invested in the drama, you are not emotionally connected to any of the characters. Some of the set pieces like Mario fighting the Donkey Kong are well intended and contribute to the fun quotient of the film. But that is about it whereas in reality they could have tapped into certain aspects of the characters better particularly the antagonist who does have a softer side to him. The final showdown is decent thus summing up the screenplay which is exactly that – fun and harmless.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent and make for a fairly impactful screenplay. The music and BGM are good and enhance the drama at several places. The cinematography is quite good and the animation is top notch with the use of bright colours that does make the drama more vibrant. Directors Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic have done a fair job but their approach was rather safe and harmless. There wern’t any obstacles in the script and the direction did not rise about it either.
The voiceovers are pretty good here. Keegan-Michael Key as Toad does a good job with his voiceover, as does Charlie Day as Luigi. Seth Rogan as Donkey Kong does make for some hilarious sequences. Jack Black as Bowser was excellent contributing to the character with a heavy baritone. Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach has a cute and bubbly voice and does well with her character. Chris Pratt as Mario is phenomenal and lends his voice to an iconic character of the video game world.
Despite its shortcomings, The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a harmless little cute animation film that can be watched once. Available in a theatre near you.