Animation: Featuring Voices Of Will Arnett,Zach Galifianakis
Directed by Chris MacKay
Rating: ** ½(2 and a half stars)
Batman saves Gotham City again. But who will save Batman?? This existential crisis in an animation film seems a bit of a stretch. But it’s a delectable idea embedded into a film whose surface gleams with graphic glory.
The Lego Batman Movie takes ambitious swipes at the Super-hero’s desolate legacy. The man who saves the world comes home to a lonely mansion in the sky with only a wry butler Alfred(speaking in gravelly gravitas-gorged voice of Liam Neeson) who counsels Batman to get a grip over his plummeting emotional fortunes..
This is Lucifer in the sky with diamonds!!!And Will Arnett’s voice for Batman conveys the hemmed-in caution of a hero who has shut out all emotions.To see an animation version of Batman explore the abject loneliness of a relentless global crusader is to find salvation in the slums of Danny Boyle’s poverty porn.
The Lego Batman Movie portrays Batman as a supremely arrogant power hustler who hides a terribly lonely secret life. There are resounding ramifications to Batman’s solitude , all realized in the plot through a blizzard of furious colours and psychedelic sounds that signify something more than what the animation format suggests.
This is a film swamped in swag. There is an aura of subverted satire and ironic innuendo running through the dialogues. As in all the other super-hero outings this one too presumes our first-hand familiarity with all the exploits of Batman from the 1960s onwards(there are montages of the series going back to the black-and-white era).
And yes, Batman’s rivalry with Superman does surface in a brilliantly caustic sequence where Batman shows up at a party at Superman’s residence where he hasn’t been invited.
The animation quality is high on flamboyance and fireworks. Colours and music assail our senses. Batman is shown as being in an emotional vacuum. His relationship with the Joker(voiced by ZachGaliafinakis) is addled with acerbity. But it’s Batman’s growing attachment to a newly adopted son that gives the proceedings a supple heft beyond the immediate resources obtainable to the audience.
As Batman takes his new beta under his wings, a supple flow of paternal emotions stream out of the plot trickling into the plot’s trajectory to a tickle.
There is plenty here to warm up to. The twists and turns plotted planned and propelled with well-oiled ingenuity, never slacken. The fun never stops. So if you are a sucker for animated super-heroism , this one gets your attention , though in a week marked by Oscar-nominated monuments in the theatres I don’t know how far we can go and not Lego of this one.