Friday, 16 January 2015

Film Review: Mary and Max (2009)

Mary and Max is a claymation film directed by Adam Elliot and produced by Melanie Coombs in 2009. Elliot was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1972 and has created 5 notable claymation works, winning hundreds of awards including an Oscar for Harvey Krumpet and the Annecy Cristal for Mary and Max. Elliot says that most of his films have a bittersweet nature to them and more often than not are loosely based on his personal life widely revolving around family and friends. Mary and Max also uses highly recognized actors and actresses to voice the characters in the film including the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Toni Collette, Eric Bana and Barry Humphries.

Mary and Max follows the story of 8 year old Mary Daisy Dinkle living in Australia and her 44 year old New Yorker pen pal, Max Jerry Horrowitz. After finding Max's address in the phone book Mary and Max become great friends through helping each other with similar problems such as bullying and discussing common interests such as chocolate. The film shows Mary as she grows up into an adult and the strength of the two pen pals friendship ever increasing.

I believe that Mary and Max sets out to present the message that friendship can come in all shapes and sizes. Just because someone is a particular age, in a particular place, or even in a particular state of mental health does not mean they have to have friends of a similar nature; Mary and Max shows this through similar problems and interests even though they are on the other side of the globe and have a large age difference. The film uses two main colour themes,browns and greys. these two colours help distinguish between the countries. The brown to represent the desert and sands of Australia and the grey to represent the concrete buildings and skyscrapers of New York. The tone and emotion of Mary and Max is wildly altered throughout the film showing scenes of silly humour immediately switching to a scene of impending gloom. However this all adds to the success and originality of the film.

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