The Mitchells against the machines, review: finding the family during the apocalypse

The Mitchells against the machines, review: finding the family during the apocalypse

The Mitchells against the machines, review

Animation, on Netflix, remains an ever-expanding sector, focused more on seriality, as demonstrated by the likes of Pacific Rim: The Dark Zone and Disenchantment, but capable of showing an artistic vein of another profile with offers like The Mitchells against the machines, landed on the digital shores of the streaming channel in these hours, which aims to retrace the success of another wonderful Netflix animated film, Klaus. A particularly anticipated title, initially announced to the Italian public with the unfortunate translation Superconnessi, which looks like a film for families, but above all about families. Theme to be touched delicately, looking for the right nuance to create an animated adventure, in which the difficulties of being a family are intertwined with everyday situations, creating a narrative balance that goes to support a hyperbolic and overwhelming narrative capable of keeping you glued to the screen.

The Mitchells against the machines: robotic apocalypse and family misunderstandings

The Mitchells against the machines, if we want to be honest, is based on narrative ideas that are not exactly original, although undeniably current. The invasive presence of technology in our life (which gave rise to the criticizable Superconnected) and the difficulty of family dynamics are narrative engines that have already been seen dozens of times. While on the one hand they may reveal a lack of originality in the opening words of this project, on the other they reveal the authentic soul of the film, capable of speaking to the hearts of the spectators using precisely two narrative elements that are so common and shared. Thanks to the intelligence of the screenwriters, who use the hi-tech aspect as the casus belli of the story, then leaving the emotive and domestic context the pre-eminence. A happy and winning intuition, because it is this familiar cross-section that makes The Mitchells against the machines a small emotional masterpiece.

The complex relationship between Katie Mitchell, an eclectic young teenager with the dream of becoming a director, and her father Rick, more material and worried parent, turns out to be a photograph of hundreds, thousands of stories all over the world. When do our children stop being our little ones to protect and start going their own way? And what happened to those heroes who in our childhood made us a thousand, incredible adventures and now seem to have become strangers? Rianda and Rowe's film develops around this rift between father and daughter, making a family journey born under the worst auspices a family therapy in which action and emotion alternate.

The risk in these narratives is to slip into rhetorical or necessarily emotional situations, with the flaw of obtaining the opposite effect. A drift totally absent in The Mitchells Against the Machines, which has the advantage of capturing the spontaneity and immediacy of this cracked family frame. Rick's efforts to mend a relationship with Kate are palpable, the viewer empathizes with this awkward and distraught big man who does not give up, but is at the same time in tune with the young woman who is starting her journey and feels betrayed by her hero. of a time, which now seems to no longer believe in her.

In this, the title change was a blessing. Superconnected referred more to the technological aspect of the film, while the move to Netflix of the Sony Animation film focuses best on this human side of the story. Having to face a potential robotic apocalypse, in fact, is the key to a renewed domestic union, made of comparisons and choices forced by the situation that pushes each member of the family to see the potential of the other, going beyond their own limits, theft of anxieties and personal experiences, to open up and accept the diversity of vision of their loved ones.

Rick and Kate have been pardoned by this narrow escape of the world, rediscovering their relationship between killer robots and psychotic artificial intelligences, an awareness made of memories, acceptance and driving lessons. This intimate and sweetly unsettling characterization makes The Mitchells Against Machines a unique film, a story in which the strangeness of the other, our anxieties and the inability to find a common language become a driving force to convey a strong message: family it is accepting and supporting oneself.

The Mitchells against machines: emotions and experimentation

All declined in a key in which emotion and comedy find an impeccable continuity. This is thanks to a personal and fully successful stylistic realization, in which animation becomes an experimental bench where the authors have fun creating a new layered language. To the traditional vision are added 2d elements that refer to the storyboards designed by Kate and scenes in which the girl's cinematographic vocation praises great classics of action cinema, all in the name of a rapid and incisive narration, in which nothing appears stranger, offering the viewer a fresh, captivating tale.

Rianda and Rowe have made the experience of other courageous animation experiments, such as the aforementioned Miles Morales adventure, an invitation not to stop, but to evolve the animation language in a new dimension, in which the expressiveness of the characters is not tied to the character design, but expands to an emotional meta-narrative that becomes the real strength of The Mitchells against the machines.

A language that also leans on a spontaneous and never cloying quotationist vein, which touches great cinema classics such as Ghostbuster, Terminator and Mad Max, and then focuses on more entity on the sound aspect, with sounds that recall cult movies such as Tron. The Mitchells against the machines, in fact, can boast an impeccable musical support, agile in passing from the rapid tones of the action scenes to the more peaceful ones, ideal for conveying the deep and wonderful emotional tension of the characters.

Thinking that a cartoon that is not able to address adults is now a widely disproved preconception, crumbled by titles like Soul, Onward or Spiderman: A new universe. The Mitchells Against Machines is yet another confirmation of this concept of the animated story, an opening to the concept of a family film that includes not only the little ones of the house, the target par excellence of the genre, but also adults who, through the events of an atypical family unit manages to find its own domestic dimension, amidst anxieties and misunderstandings. A wealth that gives us moments of poignant beauty, made up of disconsolate fathers who relive memories and daughters who grant us a hug that has been missing for too long. It is difficult to reach the end of the vision without letting a tear escape, melting in the final embrace that encompasses all the difficulties and joys of being a family. You don't need an apocalypse to find yourself like the Mitchells did, but their incredible adventure reminds us that being a family comes from small moments, like putting down your smartphone or a small gesture from the heart, whether it is a small wooden moose or a long-awaited complicit smile.

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