Genre: Animation, Drama
Colour/B&W, 88 Minutes
Mary and Max tells the story of two very unlikely Pen Pal’s, with one being an 8 year-old Australian girl and the other a 44 year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome in New York. Through their lives, they write to one another about their lives and the differences and similarities they have.The film definitely excels with its narrative structure and excellent use of music and voice-over and it is quite a unique experience when we see the friendship and film develop. With thought-provoking content and bizarre visuals, it adds up for a unique experience.
Although the film is animated, the film most certainly strikes you with a bit of poignancy as we see two characters from very different social backgrounds writing to one another. The characters are nothing short of sympathetic, fascinating and definitely characterised with good care.
Writer and director Adam Elliot decided to shoot the film mostly on a greyscale, which in itself sets the tone for the film in a positive form. The animation is not to the stop-motion standard of Aardman, but the characters breath life as everything we see could be handled in our hands- meaning no computers were used to produce CGI effects. The visuals are very expressionistic and the film definitely has a unique look to it taking you into a very strangely designed world. Visually, it is one of the most imaginative stop-motion films there is.
The voice acting and narration of the film were excellent. Voicing Mac in voice-over form was Phillip Seymour Hoffman who brought a nice New York touch to the character. Toni Collette voices Mary beautifully with convincing voice acting.
Verdict: For those who think that animated movies cannot hold you on an emotional level, I am sure this one will make you something. It may not make you shed Bambi tears, but the films expressionistic visual look on the world and friendship are worth seeing.