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4.08 

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Ya, They've Done It Again
Jun 30, 2010 03:07 AM 1487 Views
(Updated Jun 30, 2010 03:09 AM)

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Climax (narrative): A moment of great or culminating intensity in a narrative or drama, especially the conclusion of a crisis. Sometimes, it pays to go by the book. Sometimes, all it takes is to get the basics right.


Some of the best (and most successful) films that come to mind (Anand, The Godfather, Titanic) are a testament to the ‘art of the climax’ - a beautifully crafted end that makes a (good) film that much more resonating, leaving behind a footprint that stays with its audience long after the lights have come back on.


Half-way through Toy Story 3, I have to admit I was starting to get worried. While the ride with Woody, Buzz and the gang had been pretty good up till then, ‘pretty good’ is not good enough as far as Pixar is concerned, especially when compared to the intensely creative and emotionally walloping first halves of their most recent efforts, Wall•e and Up.


Well, I needn’t have bothered. The crescendo that’s initiated when the film enters the ‘Prison Break’ mode culminates into a heart-stopping, and then finally heart-breaking, bitter-sweet, and yet wholly satisfying sense of closure for some of the most iconic and well recognized on-screen characters (thanks in no small measure to the McDonalds Happy Meal).


I’ve said this before, and I can’t help but say it again – nobody can evoke the beauty of holding hands better than Pixar. And they seem intent on capturing all possible emotional dimensions to this act – from symbolizing the eternal romance of Wall•e and Up, to conveying that astonishing moment of solidarity in the final act here.


And yet, for all the imagination that was invested into bringing these toys to life, the moments that had the most emotional resonance were when they were nothing more than inanimate playthings, alive only in the imagination of a 17 year old who no longer had any need for them; only some very fond memories, and a few, uncut strings of attachment. If only for those final few moments, Toy Story 3 will rank amongst (if not above) Pixar’s finest achievements.


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