Cast: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones
Director: James Bobin
'The Muppets' is not just a film; it's a tale of self realisation and hope. Different versions of Seasame Street have created a distinct fan base throughout the world and the film will definitely satiate them.
Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) want to celebrate ten years of their love life in Los Angeles. Although Mary wishes for a private trip but Gary invites his Muppet brother Walter to join the party.
Walter had once watched a Muppet show and had become a huge Muppet fan since then and thus when the couple take Walter to the famous Muppet Studio; he just becomes overwhelmed with happiness.
Walter soon discovers a rich and ruthless businessman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) whose eyes are set on the potential oil field beneath the Muppet Studio. Richman along with some Muppets is all set to raze the historical studio to the ground and the only way to stop him will cost $10 million as per the contract.
Walter does not get disheartened and sets out on a mission to reorganise the old Muppet group in order to raise $10 million.
Mary does not understand the friendship between Gary and Walter and does not like it much when Gary gives more importance to Walter and his mission to restart the old Muppet studio.
Once a celebrity, Kermit the frog decides to join Walter after initial hiccups. Kermit brings Fozzie Bear on the board and the two convinces Gonzo too. The old gang reunites in no time except Miss Peggy who has become a successful fashion editor. Her replacement Miss Poogy is no match for Peggy's talent. The hidden love for Kermit and the Muppet studio fetches Miss Peggy back to the group but no television channel is ready to allot them a time slot and the money can't be raised without a studio performance.
'Punch Teacher', a famous TV programme, gets cancelled and the executive producer of the programme Veronica (Rashida Jones) awards the slot to Kermit with just two hours to raise $10 million. Kermit accepts the challenge but the producer insists for a celebrity guest. Miss Peggy takes the command when Kermit loses hope and kidnaps Jack Black.
The show begins with a chair tied Jack Black but an empty theatre. The Muppet band comes into their selves in no time and the auditorium starts to fill. Funds start pouring in but the requirement is simply too high.
The story is quite predictable but the drama is simply amazing. The writer has not taken much time to introduce the conflict. The clash of traditional and modern school of arts has been shown with extreme details.
Each character's nuances have been given ample time despite keeping the screenplay fast paced. The songs are just apt and complementary to the otherwise ordinary storyline.
Back story of all the major characters are written with care and fineness. Miss Peggy's character of a sought after editor is the remarkable achievement for the auteur. Her resolution of becoming important in life is the reflection of power hungry society. She sums up everything in just one statement, "I can't be replaced."
The amalgamation of animation, puppetry and theatrics has been done with perfection.
The climax requires special mention where the dialogue writer has come up with an amazing act. Jack Black's dialogues as a kidnapped person flawlessly suits the situation where the audiences think that he is actually mouthing his well rehearsed dialogues.
The visuals totally fit in even difficult lines such as 'change of green into grey, sometimes even frogs have a rainy day', especially when they are supposed to describe the pain of an obsolete art within 20 seconds.
The storyteller doesn't spend much time in between two scenes. Many ancient performing art tactics are used to cover up the discontinuity. The characters don't hesitate much before putting their fingers on a map to show the transition from one set up to other.
Editing and animation techniques used in the film don't work independently and the result produces a heart felt story where technique brings down the wall between a human and a Muppet.
An idea about the motive of the art generates in the viewers' minds while watching the film. Not only this, the film reinstates the fact that two different mediums of communication can help each other in the survival war.
Two forms of art can't survive without a synergy between them. Television helps puppetry to win back the older glory, a strategy which should be adopted in real life too. No art can just bask in the reflection of past glories; it needs to strike a balance with the consumerist society and the film suggests a way to do so.
Tex Richman's idea of creating a Moopet show for the hard cynical world more or less represents the change of era and mindsets attached with them.
The question 'are you a man or Muppet' is hard to answer in today's world. Here the film becomes successful in initiating a thought process about the art's importance in our normal lives.
'The Muppets' wins hearts as the story of a commoner who realises that even the worst situations can be controlled with a little patience and humanity.
Overall, a good watch if you are a Muppet fan and a must watch if you are not a Muppet fan.
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