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Movie Review: COCO - A rich, beautiful and magical celebration of family, culture, life and death

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COCO movie poster COCO movie poster
COCO movie poster

Like a profoundly melodious, soothing and impeccably struck guitar chord that promises to stay with you for long. Disney- Pixar’s COCO is an exceptional piece of animation feature that coins the unusual Mexican culture - Día de Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with its feel good culture.

COCO helmed by Lee Unkrich ( TOY STORY 3, co –directed FINDING NEMO & MONSTERS INC. ) is a rich and colorful visual pleasure twined with an enduring art of storytelling to ensure that ‘magical’ feeling in giving a beautiful and heartfelt reason for families to visit the cinema theatres and enjoy life but this time with a winning toast to death.

Adrian Molina and Matthew Aldrich script the story jointly written by Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich and Adrian Molina. Miguel (voice of debutant Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Miguel Family of shoemakers is living under the curse of being forbidden to indulge in any musical activity for generations. Miguel’s great-great-grandfather has abandoned his wife and daughter to follow his dream and passion to sing. What appears to be a tiny twisty leaf from the chapter of Eklavya in the Indian mythological Mahabharata, Miguel in somewhat similar module of Eklavya’s self study in mastering the art of archery, Miguel learns to play guitar by studying the art of the local singing legend Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt), who died young leaving behind a treasure of classic songs and black-and-white films.

Desperate to prove his talent, in a baffling change of events Miguel finds himself in the astonishing, vivid and vibrant land of the dead. In the journey he meets the charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

What makes COCO a much better animated feature than those previous Pixer’s feel good ones is that the movie constantly gets better as it progresses, adding different layers to Miguel’s single minded agenda of following your dreams.

Going beyond the follow your dreams formulae, COCO in its fascinating, colourful and humming journey powered by a strong and emotional urge by the writers and director to smile, sob, inspire, elevate and probe the audience irrespective of their age, the movie speaks about the isolation in adulation, the price of becoming a celebrity. The best part is COCO honestly makes a request to the kids in general to preserve their tradition and respect their elders in this original story. The moments between Miguel and his great-grandmother Mama Coco are pure magic.

From the lovely marigold petals to the ode to Mexican folk art in those papel picado banners, the team at Pixer creates such an illuminating animated art which underlines their efficiency of the studio in such genre in bold.

COCO owes a favour to RATATOUILLE but this profoundly effective piece of animated art is an evergreen love song that can be hummed along with your family for long. Like the de la Cruz's signature song "Remember Me." that haunts you and follows you till you reach home and continues further.

 

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Movie Cast & Crew
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Nitin Sethi

Nitin Sethi

November 24, 2017

watching it soon with kids...

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