Tonight we watched a movie that we’ve had on our list to see for quite a while: “Nine.”
This was another of those animated films that really isn’t as child-friendly as it appears on the surface. I mean, what’s more kid-appropriate than a movie about a bunch of talking dolls, right?
Visually, “Nine” was fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting and watching it. The world that was created was beautifully textured — bleak one moment, rough the next, and brilliantly crystalline for a moment.
The plot of “Nine” left me with mixed emotions. At first, I thought that everything was being over-anthropomorphized and I was annoyed by some of the characters’ mannerisms and actions. Then I relaxed a bit and allowed the story to take me away; gradually, it all started to make sense. I got caught up in the struggle of the dolls (“dolls” isn’t really the right word, but I’m not sure what is) and the backstory of how humanity destroyed itself.
I have to admit that I didn’t really see the ending coming. Bits of it I was prepared for, but I admit it, I was hoping for the deus ex machina to sweep in and save the day. I fell in love with all the dolls, from One to Nine, but I also have a hard time conceiving of a world without people — or any living creatures aside from the dolls. I wanted a magic reset key, a second chance for us all.
But the ending wasn’t that simple. It would have been so easy for the writer, director and producers to go that route, too. But they didn’t, and I’m grateful that they chose not to take the easy way out. Now, I won’t lie, the fact that the movie didn’t have the kind of resolution that I think we’ve gotten too used to did leave me feeling unsettled a bit. It didn’t give the kind of closure that a typical Hollywood ending does. But I can appreciate the unsettled feeling because they were willing to leave me with it.
Life isn’t always a happy ending. There’s no real deus ex machina to swoop in and save the day. I appreciate it when a movie isn’t afraid to face those facts head-on and embrace them.
So, “Nine” gets a big thumbs up from me, and I recommend it. It’s a short movie (less than 80 minutes), so why not take a bit over an hour out of your day and watch it? Just make sure you have some tissues handy if you’re like me. You just might need them.