Movie Review : Finding Dory

Why Find Dory

Our Bangkok holiday needed an aircondition break after tiring temple, flower market & park visits today. So we thought what’s better to soak in a city’s culture than go to a local, cheap, single screen theatre. The kids chose “Finding Dory” to watch and after Disney’s spectacular Zootopia (one of my best movies of 2016), I thought it was a good choice.

The show opened with more than half a dozen trailers and then the audience stood up in respect of “His Majesty the Thai King”. The only other city I have seen this tradition being followed is at Mumbai (not even anywhere else in India), where audience stands before a movie’s commencement to respect the national anthem. 

 

Hank, the Octopus, was clearly the biggest star of Finding Dory
 
The Highs

Finding Dory takes us to the gorgeous blue underwater world – a world only snorkelers, scuba divers and navy operators have seen. Dory suffers from short term memory loss. From the outset, returning writer-director, Andrew Staunton, wants the audience to respect and draw sentiment from this illness. Later we also have a whale shark suffering from short sightedness.

Dory is lost and struggles to recall anything about her distant past or even the immediate past. She gets stuck in a marine life institute and her best bet of guidance and help comes from the octopus Hank. For major parts of the movie the octopus is the star with his frequent camouflaging by changing colour and shapes.

So while Dory’s repetitive dialogues (somebody help me, am lost, what do I do etc) and odd memory recall tests the viewers patience, the octopus’ antics hold the movie together. Hank even stars in the end credits.

 

Review of Finding Dory. Watched at a single screen cheap 4$ ticket theatre at Bangkok
 
The Lows

There’s clear lack of imagination with an underwater world – the hundreds of fish varieties and colourful plants have all been seen in ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Shark Tales’ and similar movies. Unlike Zootopia’s imaginative animal city or The Jungle Book’s exemplary forest settings, Finding Dory doesn’t find any new setting nor is it a fast paced adventure ride.

The movie has a slow unfolding pace and often looks like a set of disjointed parts. Finding Nemo excelled in father son relationships but Dory’s story is more like incidents, accidents and emotional cocktail stitched together. You feel sad not because the scene pierces deep, but because you are supposed to feel sad at a child’s separation. Or at uniting. And there’s excess of that. Dory goes missing. To find her Nemo goes missing. Then Dory, after reuniting, again goes to find Nemo. Sounds like routine comedy script, right?

The kids did have few entertaining scenes (generating laughter), for adults, it was drag, most parts.

Rating : 3.5/5 (Recommended only for home viewing – however the extra 0.5 stars is for the wonderful short film ‘Piper’ just before the main movie. The life of a chicklet on shores of a sea, lingers in the memory longer)

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