Cast: Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, James Marsden, Timothy Spall, Samantha Ivers
Director: Kevin Lima
Runtime: 107 min.
Genre: Romance, Animation, Comedy
Amy Adams has that rare perfection of good-natured innocence in her, which I only have seen in one other place – Tom Hanks. I still remember watching her sweet turn in Catch me if you Can, and looking at her braces and wide eyes decorated with such beautiful eye-lashes and that infectious smile, and falling in love with her. She has the kind of charm in her that if unleashed will make every moment a joy. The most amazing thing about it is she feels so effortless, and if I dare to forecast something for her, she seems to possess the same kind of talent as Tom Hanks. A person who is as affable, with such a magical natural appeal to comedy as her should be a great talent. She is the reason why Enchanted works and weaves such a charm around us. There’s a difference between working the charm and charming, you know. Nicole Kidman works her charm, Amy Adams is charming. Not many can make an audience sit through an entire picture with a spectra-wide smile, occasionally asking of us to get blown away by her lovability. Not many could repeat a Big, though they tried, and there are fewer who can pull off what I would call from now an Amy Adams.
Enchanted is like those animated classics of old times, simple-minded and blissfully so. Giselle is a fairytale princess, in the fantasy animated land of Andalasia, dreaming of her Prince Charming. And she doesn’t mind one wee bit breaking into rapturous songs, involving all the animals of the forest. The land is ruled by the wicked Queen Narissa who has till now managed to keep her son, Prince Edward, from finding true love and marrying. As Giselle is singing her songs one day, Edward happens to pass along, and he is immediately drawn to her. They meet, and they decide to love and live happily everafter.
Queen Narissa has other plans, and on the wedding day she turns up as an old conch intercepting Giselle on her way to the palace. She lures her to a wishing well, and as Giselle wishes for everlasting love, Narissa throws her into it banishing her forever into a land where there happens to be no magic in the air and love at first sight. Just to be more precise, it is Manhattan, Times Square, and the picture turns real. The animated (both ways) Giselle now turns into flesh and blood, and you’ll hardly feel anything. She sets the tone, and it is a brilliant move to start with her. We happily accept it, and crave for more, and wonder how our dear Giselle might survive in this brutal world.
Well, brutal it isn’t because this is a Disney film in the tradition of the best, and there’re some standard set of rules for any. The people remain essentially good, save for the wicked ones after dear Giselle. They play by the Walt Disney handbook where in the world is a sweet little place, and the people still are more than ready to dance to a song in the middle of Central Perk. Look, if you have Amy Adams to be the singer, delighted every one in her ecstasy, she could infect anyone. With her, it almost feels like heaven. That the musical numbers are grand is an understatement. It moves through people, through places with such verve you wonder why there aren’t more songs in pictures.
Take a moment, and look at yourself when Adams is cleaning the apartment she lives in. You’ll know you’re in love too. The sentiments felt are in the best of Disney traditions, and by that I mean they feel as fresh as the morning air and as light as the spring breeze. For her, you wouldn’t mind watching Enchanted again.
The movie sure has some problems, especially during the end when Sarandon’s attempts to ham up the scene fall flat on their face. We still don’t mind, it is a Disney film, and we’ve already fallen for it. The film though always maintains the light tone of the film, right up to the very end, which means if you aren’t laughing your way you are smiling nonetheless.
It is that rare film so adorable that everyone, from the youngest to the oldest. This is without a shred of doubt the family movie of this year, this alongwith Pixar’s Ratatouille. I was sitting next to an elderly lady, who was laughing away like crazy, and we almost banged our heads once, in that laughter.
Did I mention Enchanted is enchanting?