Thursday, April 22, 2010

How To Train Your Dragon

Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 26th March, 2010
Time : 98 minutes
Directors & Co-Writers : Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders; Writers : William Davies & Cressinda Cowell (based on her novel); Music : John Powell
Starring : (Voices) Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrerra, Christopher

There can be few whackier films than this one. The opening statement from the title character, Hiccup, sets up the story…

“This is Berk. It's twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death. It's located solidly on the Meridian of Misery. My village. In a word? Sturdy, and it's been here for seven generations, but every single building is new. We have fishing, hunting, and a charming view of the sunset. The only problems are the pests. You see, most places have mice or mosquitoes. We have... dragons”

Hiccup is the little pipsqueak son of the huge red bearded Viking leader, Stoick. He is the bane of the village, very un-viking in his looks and demeanour, shunned by elders and his own age group kids. He dreams of slaying a dragon but is clear that the axe / sword and other Viking weapons of choice wont do. He builds a contraption and attempts to shoot one down. And then life is never the same again.

The dialogue and sense of humour is excellent throughout. For example, their teacher, Gobber’s, unconventional method of teaching his young pupils on how to slay dragons ‘on the job’ leads to one comic situation after another. Hiccup’s crush on Astrid, another pupil, also has far-reaching consequences. The way Hiccup is always run down by everyone also makes for funny moments. Sample this…

Gobber: If you ever want to get out there to fight dragons... You need to stop all... this.
Hiccup: But... you just pointed to all of me.
Gobber: Yes... That's it... Stop being all of you!

The animation is outstanding, great stuff from Dreamworks, colourful, bright, vibrant and in parts, awe-inspiring. And each of the characters is beautifully built, understandable and interesting in their own right. The great thing on top is that there are subtle messages throughout the film on how to bring up kids, what goes on in their heads etc, which is far more preferable vs being beaten on the head with messages akin to a sledgehammer as done in most Hindi films (incl the most recent travesty named Paathshaala).

I think I’ll close with the self-mocking way Hiccup talks about how his Dad treats him…
Hiccup: And when he does, its always with this disappointed scowl, like someone skimmed on the meat in his sandwich.
[Imitating his dad with a Scottish accent]
Hiccup: "Excuse me, barmaid! I'm afraid you brought me the wrong offspring! I ordered an extra-large boy with beefy arms, extra guts and glory on the side. This here, this is a talking fish-bone!"

1 comment:

Rohit Deep said...

Hmm.. I would go for 9. Movie was really well made and 3D was very good. The kids were completely engaged and so was I.