By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
Mary Winspear Centre
Charlie White Theatre
6:00pm Feb 9
The Vic Theatre
The Boy and the World is a kaleidoscope of crayon, pen and ink images made to give life to a world where Cuca (Vinicius Garcia), a young boy, is desperate to see his father come home. He hopped a train in search for work, but in the weeks that follow, everything he experiences are that of loss, hope and necessity.
This movie is told with very little dialogue. Although the story is simple to follow, there’s varying levels of visual abstraction to convey a deeper meaning narrative. That can be confusing to some people. If the eyes are closed for even just a moment, a good part of the story is missed. The enduring quality that viewers will find pleasing is with the colourful landscapes that are presented.
For Cuca, who decides to drag his oversized suitcase to go wait on the same boarding platform that his father was last seen on, what he experiences in later acts has shades of Orwellian subtext being presented. When a gust of wind whisks him in true Wizard of Oz fashion to exotic realms, what he discovers neither reflect societies from Mesoamerican tradition or Middle Eastern. The technology is somewhere between Industrialization and Urbanization.
Some of the images are reminiscent of what one could find from Swiss poster art, Pop Art and German Expressionism. Picasso and Salvador Dali may in fact even be proud in this fusion of several art movements — including primitivism — to suggest that this realm has gone mad. For Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, if only he was alive, he can explain the deeper symbolism that’s elicited with the characters in the city emerging from buildings either as simulacrums of each other or in how the elongated eyes suggest a soulless departure from the normalcy of what being human means.
Ultimately, this film is clearly made for art aficionados to appreciate more so than an entire family deciding to go on an outing to the theatre. What’s presented is an innocence of a world in the eyes of a very young Cuca, but when he grows up, what he discovers is dark. Young children can at least marvel at the colourful textures and ask daddy what does this movie mean, but after the 30min mark with no dialogue, they will get restless.
3 Stars out of 5