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“Frozen”: Timely….and Timeless.
23 May, 2014
“Frozen”, the feminist Disney film is the highest animated-grosser, ever.
It’s also the sixth highest grosser of all times after Avatar, Titanic, Avengers, Harry Potter-2 and Iron Man-3.
With traces of political undertones, “Frozen: has all the ingredients of a classic fairy tale: royalty, paupers, castles, magic/sorcery and songs, but without the customary pat-ending where the prince-princess go away riding, happily, ever after.
The parents of a princess (Elsa) decide to isolate their daughter because of her magic-powers that freezes everything around her.
This separates her from her sister (Anna) who is confused about her sister’s cold attitude.
The powers are realised by the people on her Coronation day, when the town she rules is bathed in ice.
Anna embarks on a journey (along with an ice-man, a reindeer and a comedian snow-man sidekick, whose sharp dialogues are a reason for the film’s repeat value) to save the town and in the process, her sister, too.
This is a tale about a bonding and love, and, of how unconditional love can “thaw a frozen heart.”
After one feels that one has it all figured out, the film comes up with unexpected turns, one after another.
Based on “The Snow Queen” by the Danish author, Hans Christian Anderson (who is given a phonetic tribute by saying the names of the characters in succession Hans, Kris and Anna and Sven) and though there is a physical villain, it’s the circumstances that turn a good person, evil.
The film’s attraction however lies in the much celebrated closing, when you feel that love that will release the princess from her ordeal and yes: love wins, but with a sneaky and a welcome twist.
There is an understated message to parents that overprotection of children (however justified) may actually do more harm than good, as Anna, a reluctant loner, finds out by falling in love promptly with the first person she meets.
Instead, they should face life’s challenges head-on, under the supervision of elders.
The Oscar winning song “Let it Go” is, of course, the film’s highlight, helped by the realistic eye-ball slicing photo-realistic animation.
Watch Elsa, as she stomps her feet to build a Snow Castle and when she flings away her purple cape to denoting her disdain for royalty, releasing her tresses, her transformation from a meek princess to a vamp-like woman, signifying adolescence to adulthood.
On retrospective, one realises that the title refers to a frozen relationship and a frozen heart.
The Blu-Ray has a demo material 7.1 DTS audio that will have the neighbours knocking at your doors.
The speakers come alive especially during the storms at the end, the sounds panning from front speakers to the surrounds, wolf chases, songs and the mind-boggling scene of the castle’s creation.
Inspired by Norway and Canada, with a feel of an epic (think “Dr. Zhivago”) the animation, right from the two princesses (eyes wider than the waists), creepy forests, a non-talking (thankfully) reindeer, The Nordic costumes, the frozen town with deep blacks and brilliant whites, the castle’s interiors (a thin curtain covering a painting looks so real) to the final blizzard is excellent.
Apart from the deleted scenes, the disc include a short animated film ( “Get A Horse”) that would have been good in 3D but falls flat in 2D, a teaser trailer, language versions of “Let it Go” and a disappointing: “ The Making of Frozen.”
A documentary that traces the history of how the Disney came around to making this film is included.
Watch out for an “Avenger” type of a short scene after the end credits.
Even as I write this, the film’s craze shows no sign of abating six months after its release in the USA, a success that was anticipated but not to this level.
So much so, that Disney Stores have limited selling its merchandise to Saturdays only and some sold on a lottery system.
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