Star Cast: Tom Hanks, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jiminy), Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Pinocchio), Cynthia Erivo, Jaquita Ta’le, and ensemble.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
What’s Good: Tom Hanks is unrecognisable and so good that he tick marks another ‘oh he can do this too’ role. Of course, the visuals.
What’s Bad: The lack of connectivity between scenes leading to an abrupt journey and lack of purpose/destination.
Loo Break: Pause and take at any point.
Watch or Not?: It isn’t like you will waste your time if you watch it, but
Language: English (with subtitles).
Available On: Disney+ Hotstar.
Runtime: 106 Minutes
A live action adaptation of Pinocchio is about the woodworker Geppetto who wishes that the puppet he just made comes to life. The Blue fairy listens to his wish and fulfills it. But the wooden puppet, now living, has to figure out what life is and what it means to be alive and real!
Pinocchio Movie Review: Script Analysis
1994 released Pinocchio, the animated version, was a path breaker in all true sense. Not just the best that year, but one of the bests till date. It was Disney taking the plunge after Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937). So when Tom Hanks decides to take part in the live action adaptation of a cult, the stakes are too high. Does the 2022 version stand true to the expectations?
Well, while the imagery of the world of Pinocchio happens to have evolved and looks even more engrossing, the writing seems to have lost track of what it sets out to achieve. In this screenplay by Robert Zemeckis and Chris Weitz, everything needs to be diluted, visualizer brighter and explained till the point a viewer says “I understand”. For example, in the original Pinocchio, there was never a mention why Geppetto creates Pinocchio ever in the first place.
We were to unravel that he is a lonely man hungry for a family and bonds that it brings. He wanted a connection. Never did the 1994 version put words to it, but the latest one does and that kind of dilutes the product. Everything until Pinocchio is born to life is same as the original apart from the Blue Fairy, who is now Cynthia Erivo and it is such an amazing step in terms of representation.
What follows is a story that is written to highlight a journey of finding oneself and understanding being ‘real’ means. On the screen instead it looks like a montage of scene that are disjointed and highly animated to not give the live action vibe in very huge chunks. While the live-action should have had more raw emotions and soul, it runs exactly in the opposite direction and never tries to return.
Pinocchio Movie Review: Star Performance
Tom Hanks can make even the most lazily written character look good, and Geppetto is an exciting one. A man who has spent years alone but still has hope left that one day he will have someone to call his family. There is a lot to explore in him and Hanks as an actor does that. The makers though use him to take the plot ahead.
The only two people who enjoy the maximum spotlight and make it worth are Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jiminy), Benjamin Evan Ainsworth (Pinocchio). The humour is always on point and crisp, which makes this film watchable.
Sad that how the movie chooses to use women as mere plot points to make way for Pinocchio and nothing else.
Pinocchio Movie Review: Direction, Music
Robert Zemeckis hops on the speed track and never tries to get down thinking the audience already knows everything. But that is not the ideal approach in this case. Rather a more immersive homage with time invested could have worked even better.
The music is good but there is not much of it to really say it makes the film a better one. The visuals are amazing, and at this point it goes without saying.
Pinocchio Movie Review: The Last Word
Pinocchio is a misfire and an unexpected one. I hope the studio comes back on track and creates what they are known for. Fingers crossed.
Pinocchio releases on 08 September, 2022.
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Yet to watch Marvel’s last release? Read our Thor: Love And Thunder Movie Review here.