Where the hell is Shrek?


Happily Never After
Director: Paul J. Bolger
Producer: John Williams
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Sarah Michelle Gellar, George Carlin, Freddie Prince Jnr.
Genre: Comedy, Animation
Vuvu Verdict: Certainly not ShrekMELISSA DOUMAN

Fairytale Land is under attack. The scales between good and evil have been tipped. Cinderella might not marry her prince. Her evil step-mother (Sigourney Weaver) has taken control and Sleeping Beauty is in a never-ending slumber.

But where the hell is Shrek? I was more eager to watch this movie than the two kids I embarrassingly was baby-sitting, thinking that, if this was Shrek 3, I was going to laugh out loud and forget all about my popcorn, chocolates and drink.

Alas, I was misled by the trailers. A little boy asks sweetly, “When is Shrek going to come on?” Another folds his arms crossly and says, “This is a girl’s movie.” And we’re into the movie with no further comment.
The land of “happily ever after” has become the land of “happily never after”, where the Wizard (George Carlin) entrusts the duty of maintaining the balance to his two ditsy but loveable assistants, Mink and Mambo. We are reminded of the fact that you can never leave a two-year-old unattended.

The scene is set around the Cinderella story. But it’s Cinderella with a twist, much like Roal Dahl’s interpretation in his “Revolting Rhymes”. The re-told tale is like being in love with a guy you don’t know, trying to make him notice you and, of course, once he does, believing he will love you forever. Then realising that your best friend, who knows the real you behind the cosmetic paste, is actually the cherry-on-top.

This realisation comes when Cinderella (Sarah Michelle Gellar) embarks on a journey to find the Prince, so that he can save Fairytale Land. The Prince turns out to be far from gallant and dashing, even when riding his trusty white stallion, and whose only love is his book on “How to Behave like a Prince”. Ella is accompanied by her best friend (Freddie Prince Jnr.), who’s also the prince’s dishwasher – and, of course, realises that he gets her better than any guy ever could.

This movie tries to be charmingly cute and quirky – and it probably would have been more enjoyable had I not been misled into believing it was Shrek3.  Shrek features nowhere. Nor is there any hilarity, charming Donkey, 3-Blind-Mice, and even the fairy god-mother in this one couldn’t trump the one in Shrek.

The truth is that this movie is a disappointing watch. It has a sweet, pink charm; the characters are cute, not loveable; funny but not hilarious; and very normal, not special.  A good watch if you are baby-sitting but definitely not one to drag the significant other to, or anyone else over the age of seven.


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