Elemental – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Elemental – Watering Hearts with a Fire’s Love

When it comes to film, you always look for certain things.  From the wonder to the escape, there is always something that grips you with delight.  From original tales to sequels, there is always a hope … it will be a terrific journey.  In this review, I look at the latest Pixar film.  With another interesting idea, we head into a world of the colorful kind.  A story that mixes romance with originality, Elemental is a fun journey that redefines what it means to be in love.   

The story follows Ember (voiced: Leah Lewis) a fire-resident who is trying to find her place among the elements.  With many issues on the horizon, will she be able to find her calling, or succumb to her familial flame.  This film builds an outline through an original idea (elements) and mixes it within themes of family, societal issues, and immigration.  In the beginning, we come into the film through the drop-in method, where we find Ember’s parents leaving their homeland for Elemental City.  Through visual imagery and world-building, we get a general understanding of different elemental cultures (Earth, Wind, Water) and certain angst some citizens have with the Fire residents.  After some flash forward scenes, the film shifts to our main character (Ember), a young fire girl who is conflicted in her own personal growth.  After a series of witty interactions and plot driven antics, her actions lead to an encounter with Wade (voiced: Mamoudou Athie), a water-resident.  Their interaction leads to dire consequences, forcing the two to work together in a race-against-time scenario.  As the directive shifts, the themes start to layer within a personal journey for Ember.  Her interactions with Wade bring about an opening of new things, slowly building up an unorthodox friendship.  Through cliché one-liners, witty scenes, and more colorful visual creations, the ‘opposite attract’ motif starts to meld within the concepts (of the film).  The maneuvering between creativity and genre archetypes begins to spin the journey into a heartfelt Pixar tale.

Through the race-against-time plot, it is their relationship that turns the generalization into something more.  For all the unique CGI, it is the characterization of the element concept that brings to life the wonder (of the tale).  Through each scene, it becomes a mixture of dramatic and comedic effects; a push and pull that moves hearts and lifts the themes to higher moments.  With everything coming to a head, we head into the third act that showcases the idea through the light of human value.  This leads to an emotional climax and a full circle epilogue.  Elemental is a Pixar film that weaves creativity in the familiar.  Even when things are built on tropes, there is heart to be had.  If you are a fan of Pixar, rom-coms or creative tales, this is one for you.  This is definitely a good time, worth the price of admission.

Full Score – 4 out of 5 (Full Price)

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