When I went to watch the animated movie “Rio,” the majority of seats were filled with excited young children and their family members. Almost 96 minutes later, when I left the place, I, along with them, had thoroughly enjoyed the movie, its thrill-a-minute plot, clever dialogues, riot of colours and the perfectly captured Brazilian flavour.
The team which brought out the Ice Age movies, who are also behind Rio, got the casting exactly right. Jesse Eisenberg, who was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in the 2010 film Social Network, was a shrewd choice for Rio’s protagonist — a Macaw named Blu.
The bird, captured from the South American rain forests, grows up with a girl named Linda (Leslie Mann), a bookstore owner in Minnesota. Around 15 years later, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro), an Ornithologist from Brazil, enters their peaceful life. He reveals Blu to be the last male bird of his species and requests Linda’s permission to take him to Brazil to mate with Jewel, a headstrong Macaw, voiced by Anne Hathaway (of The Princess Diaries fame).
The villain, a cockatoo named Nigel (Jemaine Clement) is one of the best characters in the entire feature. He is menacing, hideously portrayed and has immense screen presence. His interactions with the winged ones he helped capture, the two lead characters as well as a group of monkeys oozes with coolth. He is more menacing that the entire human villains put together.
The storyline revolves around the fight those 2 macaws engage in, and although against heavy odds they never give up; just when things seem most hopeless, they find a way out. And for the viewer, there is not a single minute of rest throughout this rollicking entertainer.
The meticulous eye for detail is what makes Rio such a treat to watch. Right from the opening sequence when a single little bird gradually ignites a silent forest into a cacophony of sounds, to the Brazilian carnival complete with floats and thousands of dancers and adoring fans, the film is a riot of colors!
There is never a dull moment and witty one-liners are sprinkled throughout in abundance. It must be one reason why the critics have loved the movie.
The film, which can be seen in normal as well as 3D versions, has proved a critical success at the box office. It leads one to wonder how long it would be before it’s second part is out. I would wager a bet that Rio 2 would hit theatres sometime in early 2013.
Verdict: 4.5 stars out of five; a definite take the kids to the movies, not only for their entertainment but for yours too.
Now showing in Kuwait at Cinescape, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.
-Taita S. Images: IMDb.com