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Luc Besson says Arthur and the Invisibles will be his last movie and I am not surprised (2006) September 3, 2007

Posted by Richard Bolisay in European Films, French Spring.
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Originally published in Digital Buryong on June 10, 2007.

Original Title: Arthur et les Minimoys
Director: Luc Besson

Cast: Freddie Highmore, Mia Farrow, Penny Balfour

Coming up with a lazy review is what I plan to do. I hate transitions.

*The first Luc Besson film I ever saw. Not disappointed. With the initial sequences, I thought I shall be seeing a Macaulay Culkin sort of flick. But after a while, it was bursting with eye-popping imagery and stunning animation. My sister bought a VCD of The Fifth Element three years ago. I never paid any attention. Not my type. Now I want to see it. If only Bruce Willis is not there.

*It is tempting to compare Arthur with Pan’s Labyrinth. Both are beautiful works of imagination. Besson prides himself as a filmmaker who works on diverse genres. From thriller, sci-fi, and film noir to children’s story and environmental themes, he manages to widen his audience. I may be familiar with most of his works but I do not have any interest to watch or even buy them. He’s too popular. I would rather devote my time in the less popular. Theo Angelopoulos, Bela Tarr, Ousmane Sembene, anyone? I am an idiot, these directors are also popular in the art circle.

*Even though almost everything is done perfectly, the huge pitfall is its story. It lacks dimension. It would’ve been much better. I wonder what became the problem. Budget? No way. Besson? I doubt it. Producers? No idea. Unlike Pan’s Labyrinth, the conflict is too specific that everyone can relate to it. A kid left by his parents during his birthday. Grannie is there to be with him. It’s his birthday. Blow the candles. Gift from Alfred, his dog. Gift from Grannie. Tears. Grandpa disappeared four years ago. He left a treasure. Evil broker comes. He wants the property. Grandpa is not present to sign the papers and pay the debt. So evil broker forces them to pack their bags after 48 hours. The treasure is the only key. Grandpa is a genius. He left riddles and puzzles so Arthur can find it. Arthur is a clever kid. He embarks in the journey. Minimoys. Great people. So is that story THE problem? Yes, a bit. Films with universal themes are more likely to pull-off its intentions. But of course, that depends on different factors. Actors, story, screenplay, budget, director, DOP, and everything. So what I just mentioned is too subjective that it made no sense. You wasted your time. All apologies.

*Eric Declaro will certainly love this film. But DeClaro loves the West. He hates the idea of turning poverty into an art form. He hates slums and prostituted women as subjects. I change my mind.

*One thing I noticed is that the Minimoys’ noses are flat. Pango. So does that mean that the film’s animators are Asians? No idea. Or like most local TV stations would dig for, is there a Filipino in the team? We love to hear news about our kababayans who are successful in other countries. Brain drain. Great.

*The credits rolled. Karen and I were surprised that Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and even David Bowie provided their voices. They are great singers but they speak differently in the film. Even Robert de Niro is there. Or perhaps we’re just hungry. Nevertheless, that kid who played Arthur is superb. He is graceful. Even better than Haley Joel Osment five or six years ago. Swear. Expect the sequel in 2009 or 2010. That’s according to imdb. Who will direct?

*Pardon my discombobulation. I’m sick and will always be. Que sera, sera. Senteo ergo sum. * * *

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