We live in an ever shrinking world. One way or another, be it for pleasure, comfort, or work, we talk to “strangers” all across the world on a day to day basis; often finding it easy to share our innermost thoughts and views with them in a casual manner. The same is also true while travelling. The thought that we might never see a person again, sometimes makes us vulnerable enough to open up to them.
Mary & Max is a film that captures this very “relationship”, which we develop with people that have never been part of our lives, and highlights the beauty of it.
The word charming doesn’t do justice to this film. Imagine that much talked about 5-7 minute montage in UP – Sorry for reminding you. Just wipe your tears and come back to finish reading this when you are done. Mary & Max brings about the same emotions those 7 minutes in UP did. It’s not about comparing both the films; I’m just getting you ready, so that in case like me you have a tendency of getting emotional far too quickly, you should be prepared because waterworks – of the teary kind – are expected by the end.
Based on a true story, Mary & Max is a clay-animation (Claymation) that looks at a child’s innocence and a grownup’s isolation and combines that in a wonderful web of emotions that are linked by an unusual friendship.
Mary is an 8 year old girl in Australia, with an alcoholic mother, who one day at the spur of the moment, writes to Max, a middle aged man suffering from anxiety attacks, in New York. A relationship that in any era would be frowned upon, slowly takes on a beautiful path as they both write to each other over the years discussing their inhibitions and fears and in return comforting each other in times of need. The film is a love letter to long distance friendship and a reminder that attachment often sees no age, colour, gender, or location.
Speaking to friends about the film, someone mentioned that the reason for UP’s montage to work was that it’s an animation and the same emotional response from the audience could not have been evoked were it do be done by real actors. I agree with that and Mary and Max definitely works because it is in claymation and the depth of facial expressions especially is extremely intricate and impacting.
However, the story of the film is so engrossing that after a while the audience forgets the animation aspect and is engrossed in the characters and their joys and tribulations. Moreover, the claymation might have you fooled into thinking that the movie is aimed at kids, and while they may enjoy the animation, the dialogue and the intricacies of the relationship are very much adult in nature.
Mary & Max is brilliantly voiced by Toni Collette (Mary) and Phillip Seymore Hoffman (Max) along with Eric Bana as Damien (Mary’s husband). The soothing voice of Barry Humphries as the narrator is the final key that eventually, at some point of time, opens up the floodgates of sentiments and feelings in the viewer.
I can’t promote this movie enough. Mary & Max is a lesson in life and love and a reminder that we are all in this together and need to support and believe in each other. It’s a film that should be talked about more. It is a film which should be seen by everyone.
Mary & Max is simply one of the best films I have ever seen.
Note: All images and Gif have been taken from Google Search