Sunday, February 6, 2011
Movie Appraisal: Ink (2009)
I know I speak out a ton about some of my favorite movies, and sure, maybe I'm wrong about their quality, but I enjoy them quite a bit, and this movie is in my top movies of all time. It's not because it's psychological horror or because it's Jacob's Ladder, but because this movie stands on its own. It does things I've never seen movies do before. It uses the visual effects to its advantage rather than its disadvantage like most modern movies seem to. I can compare the Star Wars prequel movies here or Transformers, movies that used special effects to look "cool" or whatever the hell they were trying to do. I don't even care because all those movies are terrible.
Ink, on the other hand, is a wonderful case of needing the visual effects for the story to be better. And the story is so absolutely stunning that I don't even have the words for it. I watched the movie for the first time about a year ago and fell in love with every aspect of it. There was not a single line that made me cringe, not a single scene that made me question the motivations of the characters or the people making this film. It comes off as a beautiful story from beginning to end, a fairy tale in some ways, and in others nothing more than a dream, but a dream with so much meaning.
Yes, I tend to like the "It was all just a dream." or "The guy was dead/dying the whole time." kind of plots. And this has elements of that, but it also has, I think, a deeper meaning than most of those types of movies. I think it is in many ways much more metaphorical, and also much more beautiful. It isn't trying to be horrifying, it's trying to tell a story, and for that I have to give it all the recommendation I can possibly give. It feels like a true hero story, from the beginning and the introduction to the characters' struggles and trials, to the middle, the darkest point, where nothing is certain, to the end where everything is resolved and you kind of just want to sit down and cry for a while because of just how sad, bittersweet, and beautiful this movie is.
Ink reminds me of What Dreams May Come quite a bit, if you've ever seen or hear of that book/movie before. The plot is somewhat similar, but flipped, and the situations are very different, but the stories end up being very similar to one another. And because What Dreams May Come is one of my favorite stories I have to say that it makes Ink that much better.
This is one of the few movies I would say benefits from its characters and story. Most movies have characters that don't matter and a story that barely exists, but this film relies so heavily on those things that it would be nothing at all without it.
I guess I should summarize the story... Anyway, there's a man who's depressed, his daughter who is taken by an ugly, scarred brute, and the being who seem to protect the people of the world. That's about all I can say. I hate giving the story or plot of this movie away. It's better to watch it than have me reveal all of its secrets. The movie is actually free to watch online. I don't think the filmmakers charge anything to watch it, or at least they didn't back when I watched it the first time.
This is truly one of my favorite movies and I think it should be required watching for every single living person. It's simply that good.
One thing I do have to say is that I was checking this film's Wikipedia page, and it told me that this film's genre is science fiction and fantasy. It's not. Wikipedia lies so badly it actually makes me want to rage throw Wikipedia out of a window. This film is very psychological and very dreamlike, but there is absolutely no sci-fi anywhere in this, and the fantasy element is less fantasy and more straight psychological metaphor. I would group this film much closer to the Silent Hill movie, for instance, than to Inception, just because of the metaphorical ideas presented within. I don't think the meaning of the movie is pointedly hard to get or anything, but it seems like a lot of people really don't understand this film when it's actually quite easy to see what it's about if you pay any attention at all. I guess I think that most people don't really get a movie like this because they're too stupid to actually pay attention to anything for a few minutes straight without wanting something to explode or a big famous actor to come on screen or something. Society makes me sick.
This film is such a wonderful experience. It made me, the harsh cynical Saquarry, who hates everybody and everything, really want to give everybody a collective hug and kind of tear up a little and pretend I had something in my eye... because I did have something in my eye, all right? I was totally not crying. My point is that this is a feel-good movie with elements of being bittersweet. It's the movie equivalent of hugging a cute puppy.
Now, go watch this film. No, stop reading this and go watch it. You're wasting your time and mine continuing to read this when you should be watching the film and doing something productive. Fine, I'll stop and you can go and watch it and you can tell me how right I was and I can act smugly superior for a while.