CHAPPIE(2015)

KxSNBLWI was bamboozled by the extreme negative reviews that Chappie was garnering from audiences and critics alike but now after seeing it, I know exactly why that is the case. The story of a robot with the mind of an adolescent boy just couldn’t set in the realistic and “ridicule what you don’t understand” mentality of today’s masses. This is a film which makes you take it for what it is and if you are unable to feel for a “tin man” who wants to survive and would do anything for it, you should walk clean of this one. Chappie is science fiction but it dwells more on the “science eventuality” than “science fiction” as we expect from Blomkamp, the man behind films like District 9 and Elysium. With every film Blomkamp has been trying to explore new horizons keeping his primary style, treatment and even the cast same and with Chappie he does a repeat of that.

“Scout 22” is a robot developed by a company called Tetravalve for the police force of maxresdefaufltJohannesburg. The idea is to make the robots take the pain of the urban combat saving as much of the human lives as possible. Things look bright as the Scouts perform better than expected. The maker of the Scouts, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel) has been working on a secret project of his own to create an AI for the robots which would make them conscious and intelligent. He makes a breakthrough and wants to check his work on a bot which has been damaged in combat and is marked for demolition. Unable to get permission, he steals the bot and makes way for his home.

hd-mediaitemid17500-3713On the way he is kidnapped by a gang of bad guys (Die Antwoord) who are trying to find a way to deal with the police bots as they have been on the wrong side of the bots for more than once. Wilson tells them what exactly he is out to achieve and they let him run his experiment in their own hideout. Chappie, a robot with human-like consciousness is born. As the crew tries to train it for their own benefits and Wilson tries his best to drag the bot out of the hell that it is in, a third person sets about a series of events which would affect all the characters in and around Chappie. Vincent (Hugh Jackman), Wilson’s co-designer at Tetravalve who has been trying to put on the streets his own design but was unable to do so because of the success that the Scouts have enjoyed, seizes this opportunity to make headway with his plans and defame not only Wilson but his creations too. What happens next forms the crux of the narrative of the film.

Inspite of the scintillating action, Chappie is an extremely sentimental film at heart. A large portion of the film is about how a????????????????? robot with the thought process of a kid, comes to terms with the big bad world that he is in. He learns about lies, deceit, violence and above all love. It is truly a novel idea to show a robot learn and react to such emotions which are by and far human dominion. While District 9 was about a man, desperately trying to undo the effects of an alien DNA and getting back to his human form before time runs out, Elysium was about a man was destined to die unless he got on a medical pod in a distant paradise called Elysium before time ran out. Chappie is about a robot with a human consciousness that must get itself a new body or transfer it’s consciousness to a new body before it’s battery runs out. The similarities just doesn’t end there. Be it the slow motion, ballistic style action or the rousing human emotions, the setting of Johannesburg and the news roll footages shown of the characters, Chappie constantly gives you a feeling of deja vu from Blomkamp’s previous films, which is not a good thing at certain junctures.

maxresdefaultThe film tends to get slow towards the middle of the first half and at 2 hours plus runtime, the director really pulls it a tad bit more than what we would have liked. But for all those who are willing to look beyond those little chinks in the armor, the film has plenty to offer. The action though limited, is sensational. Blomkamp is known for his visual wizardry and Chappie is bound to add another feather in his cap in that department. I just loved the final action sequence involving a la ED-209 robot (from Robocop series). The film ends on a positive note but it does stretch the ending a tad bit more than what would have been apt.

Hugh Jackman is the most noticeable. Playing a toned down baddie who is for most part limited to his cubicle until his chappie_hd_high_definition_wallpaperprowess is let loose in the end, Jackman does a superb job with his character and never for once gets out of the skin. Dev Patel is fabulous as the disillusioned maker of Chappie. Die Antwoord gang act well enough to render their characters believable. Without them pulling their weights, the film would have fallen short of a lot of human drama. The editing is top notch and the music apt. Overall, Chappie is an engrossing Sci-Fi drama that you shouldn’t miss. Ignore all the negative reviews and the bad word of mouth and give it a watch. You will not be disappointed.

One Comment Add yours

  1. chappie says:

    me chappie ..review likey

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