Be Careful Of The Grinch In Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”
Ugh. The shrill, overstuffed, spiritless cinematic contraption being marketed under the label ”Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is a depressing reminder that when Hollywood decides to lavish more than $100 million on a beloved children’s story, that money has to go somewhere. The movie is so clogged with kooky gadgetry and special effects and glitter and goo that watching it feels like being gridlocked at Toys ”R” Us during the Christmas rush. Both the film and its omnivorous star, Jim Carrey, who seems to change voices every few seconds, come at you from so many directions at once that half the time you don’t know where to look or how to react.
Mr. Carrey’s wrinkled green-faced Grinch is relentless. Determined at all costs to be recognizable through his furry costume, the star regularly breaks character to address the camera and fire off smart-aleck remarks and references like ”dude” and ”faaabulous.” These showoff antics may lend the movie a contemporary edge, but their underlying cynicism is a profoundly corrupting influence.
The moral of the original tale says that Christmas can’t be bought in a store. Although the movie dutifully peddles the same message, here it is all but buried underneath the tonnage of junk and gimmickry, saccharine music (by James Horner) and a tale that depicts the residents of Whoville as pig-snouted toy people who are nearly as selfish and mean-spirited as the Grinch himself.
Once upon a time (in 1957, to be exact) there appeared a slender children’s book of line drawings and clever verses that playfully fused the enchanted tone of ”A Visit From St. Nicholas” (better known as ”The Night Before Christmas”) with the message of Dickens’s ”Christmas Carol.” In this captivating fable, ”How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” a hirsute Scrooge-like sourpuss loathes Christmas so much he decides to ruin it for the happy residents of Whoville.
Descending from his lair atop Mount Crumpit in a sleigh driven by his dog, Max (with attached reindeer horns), he impersonates Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, dives down the town’s chimneys and makes off with everyone’s presents. When a little girl named Cindy Lou catches sight of him stealing a Christmas tree, he lies and tells her he’s only taking it away to fix a broken light.
But the next morning, when the Grinch finds the Whovillians still singing their songs of holiday joy, he gives in to the Christmas spirit, returns their goodies and ends up in Whoville magnanimously carving up the ”roast beast” he had stolen.
With minimal fiddling, the book was turned into a delightful animated short in 1966 narrated by Boris Karloff, who intoned the rhymes of the author, Theodor S. Geisel, with just the right mixture of Lionel Barrymore-esque gravity and Grinchlike creepiness. Here, Anthony Hopkins, who supplies the narration, inflects the verses with a slight tang of Hannibal Lecter.
It’s not Mr. Hopkins’s fault that the poetry now seems clumsily shoehorned into the movie to supply obligatory credibility. Amid all the wisecracks, pyrotechnics and action-adventure-paced frolic, Geisel’s deft, witty rhymes often seem extraneous, and even anachronistically out of place. In the movie’s fitful attempts to illustrate the verse, it does grating things like taking a funny nonsensical rhyme (from a ditty in the animated film) about the Grinch having termites in his smile and flashing a horror-movie image of the Grinch’s teeth crawling with termites.
The fable itself is so slender that to become a feature-length film it had to be pumped up with a background story. Thus we see the Grinch as an infant foundling deposited in a basket on a Whoville doorstep. An ornery, rebellious child, ridiculed for looking different, he is mercilessly taunted by his peers and eventually flees Whoville to settle in a garbage-littered cave atop Mount Crumpit.
The new story gives him a childhood crush on the snooty but beauteous Martha May Whovier (Christine Baranski), who in her vanity and avarice is almost as objectionable as the Grinch himself. We are also introduced to Whoville’s pompous chief executive, Mayor May Who (Jeffrey Tambor), whose royal pretensions are shown by his fondness for ermine-trimmed Henry VIII-style robes.
Virtue in Whoville is personified by Cindy Lou (Taylor Momsen), a pretty, pigtailed little girl, whose character has been blown up from a walk-on into an adorable little angel and the only resident of Whoville who sees good inside the Grinch. When this fearless child pays visits to the Grinch, he tries to scare her off. But all his combative huffing and puffing only make her laugh. On top of its absurd psychologizing about the poor, persecuted little Grinch, the sympathy of Cindy Lou Who is the film’s last corrupting straw.
Every so often, beneath the layers of gadgetry and glitter and its two million feet of Styrofoam (according to the production notes), you can glimpse what might have been an enchanted family movie. But if the quasi-medieval architecture, inventive costumes and goofy hairdos and snouts create a storybook atmosphere, the screen is so densely packed with stuff that it all tends to melt into a jumble.
Although ”The Grinch” was directed by the usually sensible Ron Howard, it doesn’t feel like one of his films. Throughout, one senses an underlying tension between his desire to make a warmhearted holiday movie and the need to magnify the personality of its star. Mr. Carrey’s ability to penetrate his character’s disguise and get away with his usual mugging and clowning is technically no small accomplishment. In the right situations, Mr. Carrey may be a comic genius. But here his ferocity is largely misdirected. Aided and abetted by the producers’ desperate, anything-for-an-effect aesthetic of excess, the star ends up hijacking the film.
”Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is rated PG (Parental Guidance suggested). Very young children might be frightened by the Grinch in his more monstrous moments.
This article is concerning Watch Free Movies Online and Free Movies Online for a lot of data please visit our website: https://ww1.freemoviesz.online/