Sunday, August 05, 2007


RUNTIME: 87 min.
RATING: ****1/2

Eighteen years, eighteen seasons this show has run. Anybody who has been faithful to this show the entire time deserves a huge applause plus a hefty prize amount to go with that. I have never been much of a TV show man; I’m more of the kind that is into documentaries. They simply require too much investment of time, an element of my life I have always found myself to be short of. So unlike a lot of others from The Simpsons bandwagon, I had absolutely no idea what to expect other than the two facts that this is one of the biggest pop culture phenomenon and that Time once rated it the best TV show of all time. I had absolutely no frame of reference for I had not had time even to catch a single moment of The Simpsons.
So how good is it from the view point of a person who has absolutely no frame of reference? Keeping it crisp, it is the most times I have laughed in a movie since 1999 and it was Toy Story2. The Simpsons has got be the smartest and funniest animated movie since that animated classic. And the best part, it is no way for kids alone. It is PG-13 and the witty liners and moments are just unleashed at you, all guns blazing. The best comedies I have seen, and not just the animated ones, are those that make a joke and move on. They don’t drool over it. If it is funny, laugh, laugh out loud but at your own peril for the next joke is coming soon. I seldom find myself laugh out loud during a movie (at the intentional jokes); it is often just a smile. In fact, I can remember when I laughed out loud during a movie the last time and that was in March and the movie was Little Miss Sunshine. The Simpsons not only has these moments in abundance, it has them coming thick and fast. I said to myself during the movie- Boy you got to watch it again just to catch all the jokes you missed. The humor isn’t any way you would feel guilty about, it is genuinely smart humor. Although Homer Simpson meant in a different way when he said- I have begun to like you guys, I agree with the line. Quirky characters this lovable are hard to come by.
I hear the show in a way represents the United States, making fun of every aspect of their culture. It sure does in the movie but it touches all the easy targets. Come on, religion, sexual orientation, food habits, environmental issues aren’t exactly hard targets. It makes for immense fun with numerous quotable quotes but the satire isn’t exactly enlightening. Anyways, I commend the writers’, a whooping eleven of them, resistance to the temptation of including George Bush jokes. Thinking a bit out of the box, they instead had the GOP with Arnold Schwarzenegger replace Bush and repeat the exact scenario. And including Tom Hanks was cool too, his line even better- The US Government has lost its credibility so it’s borrowing some of mine.
The heart to any great comedy and especially one harboring any thoughts of being a satire is its writers. Including James L. Brooks and several others who had a hand in creating the series is a masterstroke. James Brooks and Albert Brooks, voice over for Russ Cargill are comic geniuses. And unlike the usual animation picture, I have heard that director David Silverman was involved in the project right from its screenwriting stage. That showed in the final product. The 2-D animation isn’t exactly cutting edge and I don’t believe it was supposed to be that way. It just seems to be an extension of the TV show on the big screen, an extended episode. Homer Simpson’s asks – “Why pay for something you can watch on TV for free?" I have got my side of the answer ready but I wonder what exactly is the fan who knows just about every supporting character thinking of this movie? But now, if the movie is anything to go by, I wonder if this is really the greatest TV show there is. It is a fantastic movie, and considering that and Eighteen years, must be one hell of a TV show too. Still.

1 comment:

The Ancient Mariner said...

Agreed, sir. But i am disappointed that you didn't comment on the fact that how much quality of a movie this one had in itself? I like many other not-so-enlightened fellows would say that this was an extended tv show and could have been on the TV with the same effect. Why should i go to the theatre to watch such a movie? Any answers sire?