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Snoogans's Movie Reviews (3276)

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Anomalisa 
Captivating, but Harshly Depressive
3/4 stars

'Anomalisa' is one of the most unique animated films I've ever seen. It utilizes proven methods of stop-motion animation and puppetry to engulf us in a completely realistic environment. The look and feel is almost exactly that of real life. This begs the question of "why present this story though animation?". Well, the visuals do add a significant level of engagement to an otherwise mundane plot. It allows us to focus much more heavily on the inner thoughts and emotions of the main character. This is one area that will turn off most viewers. The whole thing basically boils down to a one night stand involving a man who has lost any passion at all in life. We see how dreary his life is beforehand due to the monotone existence in which he views everyone around him. This is enhanced by the fact that every single person he encounters (even his wife and child) are all voiced by the same actor, who puts forth no vocal changes. This element is my favorite aspect of the entire film. It plays to the strength of the story's overall intent. When he meets one woman in particular, we hear an actual new voice. Everything about her is captivating because of this. We feel everything that he feels for her and for himself. I found their interaction warm and genuine. It's what happens after this point that might alienate most. The depressive nature returns in full force, leaving us with a very unconventional ending that some will find not all too satifying. Given how the film played out till this point, I was expecting this. I completely admire the narrative choices taken and think they suit the story greatly. However, I was left with an empty feeling of depression afterward that didn't settle easy. I'm one of those individuals who actually enjoys depressing films. I can reach new low depths with the characters to then be taught a self-helping lesson. Here that doesn't exist. The little bit of embrace and acceptance lasts briefly, only serving as a reminder to the unremarkable rut of life that some people live. It's harsh.


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