Boy and the World (2013) – The Eyes of a Child

“Boy and the World” is just as simple as its theme when you watch this movie through the kids’ perspective. Kids can distinguish between good and evil. But, if you watching this film from an adult’s perspective, gray isn’t necessarily gray and so are other colors. Just like the animation. Such a simple movie with very simple animations is quite a movie about this world. A kid in a red-striped shirt and three sprigs of hair as if in the infinity world with nothing but white and just blank. He doesn’t speak except adult characters but we can’t understand what they are saying. It’s simple, we see from the perspective of a kid.

Alê Abreu may speak indirectly to certain people. But, a simple animation like this is one of the most beautiful animations with clear vision. It’s so alive when you see what the director wants to convey to you about the situation in the specific place is kind of elaborate. This movie creates an aesthetic element for a vibrant animation like this. It just didn’t create joy and imagination especially in the viewpoint of children. But, it is more than what would happen if the image itself is destroyed.

This movie is a paradox and for children, this film may be complex but maybe at the same time, they are easy to understand. The story explores how industrialization and adult creates a disparity between the innocence and cynical of children becomes fragile and sensitive. The boy, in contrast to adults, doesn’t have any burden. He just enjoyed the surroundings, saw a unique ball, and enjoyed what he had in his existence and freedom. His family’s farm still couldn’t do anything except the father had to give up himself to work in the factory.

Even without dialogue, unique, we can understand how struggling and difficult this character was. And we still see this from a kid’s perspective who still doesn’t understand how. We process continuously what happened. From here, the kid, while looking at how adults work, is trying to find his father. This movie has many philosophical stances and layers let alone just to kids. But, there will be, not only adults, the kid finds it difficult to distinguish who this character is or what the film is. However, this movie is a bit confusing even without dialogue and the crude design, it’s a hard experience for many people.

The journey begins when the boy arrives in the city where the father works. He met an adult who also worked in a fabric factory. There is also a symbolism where one group of people fights back in their situation. It’s illustrated with the weapons, like tanks, and imagination of a colorful dragon. The more the boy is looking at this situation, and the city, the more the tone look dark. The pastel and the color pencil suddenly become soulless, as if the image itself was destroyed slowly because of this. However, the message suddenly becomes clear when the director shows the real footage of logging and manufacturing.

Still, “Boy and the World” is both for kid and adults movie about the exploration of a world through the imaginary of an innocent one. It explores how a futuristic world works slowly but also changes a new perspective on something. Like this movie for instance that destroys the imagination and colorful world of children becoming soulless and colorless. It’s a world we live in black and white yet still, it’s so complex to distinguished who is right and wrong. It’s a heavy movie for an animated movie yet what a trip.

4 out of 5 stars.

Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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