First let me say that almost THREE months ago to the day, I wasn’t sure if I would EVER be able to screen and review another film, but gratefully, I AM STILL HERE and still able to do what I love so here goes…..
Chappie is not your typical artificial intelligence story. In fact there are so many layers to the story that I recommend screening it only after you have taken a few deep breaths to relax and calm yourself so you can be prepared for what’s to come.
Let me first say I plan on seeing this film AGAIN IN IMAX. Why? Because it WORKS. And because not only is it a truly enjoyable cinematic experience but it GENUINELY makes you contemplate!
Chappie is a happy accident of sorts. In other words he’s been planned but not exactly in the way that most people think. And because of that you consistently find yourself going back to points of reference earlier in the film because you are connecting development with consciousness, and learning with environment and emotion.
The connection between Deon (Chappie’s MAKER-and yes that’s in CAPS for a reason) played masterfully by Dev Patel of Slumdog Millionaire fame, and Chappie are a teacher and student paradigm. And these two sell that connection EMPHATICALLY well.
When we first meet Chappie, he is indeed A CHILD. As such, he has a Mum and a Dad. You literally have to think of Chappie and his relationship with his ‘parents’ played brilliantly by Ninja and Yolandi, as THAT of a HUMAN child with his parents. That is LITERALLY the way the relationship is SUPPOSED to play out. And it does, just NOT in the way that MOST parents choose to educate their children.
Let me just stop right here and say that Sharlto Copley is utterly MESMERISING as Chappie! You are drawn in from the beginning and he will NOT allow you to let go EVER. And because your connection as a viewer to Chappie is so strong, you empathise with him quite easily as you watch him, grow, learn, mature, endure, and FIGHT. And not just a physical fight but an internal metaphysical one.
Again, this film has MANY layers. The characters nearly all of them (well, except Vincent played by Hugh Jackman) have frequent internal battles with emotions and consciousness on a level most human beings simply cannot handle on such a scale.
What Does NOT Work:
Vincent (again played wonderfully solid by Hugh Jackman) is a character that no matter what he does in the beginning of the story, you don’t get the empathy necessary to genuinely CARE about what happens to him as a character. Literally from the VERY beginning there’s nothing redeeming, nothing that makes you want things to work for him in ANY WAY.
You literally DESPISE him from minute one and as such, he’s not the antagonist most will need to ensure they are on the right side, of history so to speak, as this film plays out. I have a feeling it comes down to editing for time because as such, Jackman’s performance is SOLID. He is a fantastic antagonist!!! But in comparison to Chappie, well there’s simply no comparison.
I absolutely DO NOT want you to think that makes Chappie ANY less of a fantastic film because it does NOT. There’s no way to assess this film other than an ABSOLUTE MUST SEE and if it’s playing IN IMAX where you are, I HIGHLY recommend it!!!
The cinematography is amazing, the robotics and animatronics are absolutely MIND-BLOWING and the interactions between Chappie and the “REAL” world will leave you with more than a few tears.
It’s amazing when you’re watching a film about robotics and you suddenly realize that the character whom is the most HUMAN, that you connect with on the deepest levels, is metal, plug and play, and UTTERLY cosmic in his footprint!
Joyll Cambridge hails from Manchester, United Kingdom and currently lives in New York, New York. She loves all things movies, fitness and swirling. To read Joyll’s personal blog at The Humanist Exec, click here.
Joyll joined our team as our Resident Movie Reviewer. Look for more movie reviews from Joyll!
Copyright ©2015 Michelle Matthews Calloway, ASwirlGirl™, The Swirl World™, The Swirl World Podcast™, All rights reserved. Photo of Joyll Cambridge used with permission. Movie poster from the movie “Chappie” obtained from IMDB.