Friday, January 2, 2009

Desperate Times Call For Despereaux

Still tired from staying up late, waiting for the New Year’s arrival, I ventured out the next day in 18 degree weather looking like something from ‘Dawn of the Dead’, just to take my daughter (who never forgets promises) to see “The Tale of Despereaux”. As you can imagine, I was not excited at all. I already made up my mind to slink into the worn, stained cushioned seats of the movie theater to try to catch some z’s that escaped me the night before. The film moved slowly at first as my head nodded in between scenes. But then I saw something that caught my attention – It was Despereaux; The cute little mouse with abnormally large ears and an even bigger heart.

‘Despereaux’ is an adaptation from the children’s novel, "The Tale of Despereaux" by Kate DiCamillo. I am not familiar with the work but some critics have said that the film does not follow the novel enough (for ex. Despereaux should have a French accent but dons an American twang instead). This may very well be true but the underlying moral of the film is very much needed in these desperate times we are living in and it is so important, it supersedes the confines of literary – to – film adaptation. The moral simply put at the end-Sometimes people who are hurt, hurt others. And then that one hurts another one and so on and so forth.

With a spider web of misunderstandings and pain, rain stopped falling and color was drained from the once happy and bustling Kingdom of Dor. This all began when the Queen was frightened to death by a gentle rat named Roscura who was innocently passing through when he accidently fell into her bowl of soup. From that point on, the grief stricken King banned soup along with rats and anyone harboring rats. Their daughter Princess Pea became engulfed in sorrow as she lost her mom and essentially her father who simply sat in anguish day after day. She became bitter and took this misery out on her maiden, Miggory Sow, an overweight young lady about her age who longed to be a princess. Miggory Sow then took her frustration out on the princess. Throughout the movie you will see distressing ties such as this.

Every adult who has felt pain will be able to relate to the story line. Children on the other hand will not understand the deeper lessons unless a parent explains it to them. One thing that is clear to everyone is the bravery, decency and nobility of Despereaux that shines through as he is bent, against all odds, in making everything right. The adaptation to film may not be perfect and the story telling may not be crisp but the “Tale of Despereaux” leaves the moviegoer feeling that there is some hope left for mankind and its many wars and misunderstandings. Quoting the ending in part, ‘Remember when I said there is nothing greater than grief. I was wrong. There is…Forgiveness.’ I'm glad I got out of the house to see this one. You will be too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

cannot wait to see it after this review,