“Humans are endlessly illogical. Why did they throw out food when there were children starving in India? Why did they clear the rainforests when they needed the oxygen? And why did they create bus timetables when they never ran on time?”
– Max Horowitz
Being a junior movie buff, I’ve decided that because I now run a blog I should go ahead and make reviews of films that I’ve watched so far. I don’t think I’ve watched more than two hundred films at this point, but hey, I have the rest of my life ahead of me. And so, this is the very first movie that I am going to write about: “Mary and Max.”
The initial premise is simple: An eight-year-old girl named Mary and a forty-four-year-old man named Max become pen pals after Mary decides to choose a name of an American in a phonebook to ask, out of innocent curiosity, where babies come from. She introduces herself to him, telling him about her favorite things and also introducing her parents, and though Max ends up having an anxiety attack because of Mary’s letter, he writes her back and that is when their friendship begins.
A fair bit of warning: If you expect this movie to be uplifting because of the charming quirkiness of the art style and the friendship aspect, you better go watch a Disney or a Pixar flick. The themes presented the movie are heavy–Mary’s alcoholic mother, Mary’s extreme lack of self-esteem, Max’s disability and obesity, Mary and Max’s mutual struggle to cope with the rest of society–compared to your typical animated piece. It has as much heart as it has heartache. It will move you and then move you to tears. It’s a dark, bittersweet masterpiece that will make you reflect on your own relationships.
In my opinion, the best thing about this film are the characters. They are complex, well-developed, and believable. They each have something strange yet highly interesting about them, and those traits are what drive the story forward. They are all broken in a way that you want them to be fixed, but does that happen? That’s for you to find out.
This movie was released in 2009 but it was only last night that I was able to watch it. No matter what year it is that you’re reading this, I recommend that you see it as soon as possible. It is a timeless and unforgettable tale about life and friendship. You may need to prepare some tissues and a pillow (or person) to hug.