Film Review // Mary and Max

Firstly, a brief synopsis on Mary and Max, it is a claymation about a eight year old girl named Mary who is living in a small town within Australia. Living with her alcoholic mother, distant father and random pet rooster. Her life isn't perfect in any way, being a complete loner who is bullied. Through a small series of events she decides to write to someone, Max, in New York to ask where babies come from, being told that in Australia they come from the bottom of beer glasses. Max is a lonely, jewish yet atheist, middle aged man with aspergers syndrome. They begin writing letters to each other which lasts over a decade and covers all major life events as two unlikely people become friends.

The fact that Max has never been able to live a normal life and Mary being just a child, they both take a surprisingly heartwarming party where they become best of friends, although it is strange it is just as sad, they eventually grow into their own people and come to understand themselves.

The film constantly heads down a dark road into alcoholism, misery and heartbreak for both characters, throughout the years they accidentally upset each other with their decisions, although the film may not be a romance it is a different kind of love story, both characters would never come to that point but they have such great impact on each others lives. 

The animation itself has a strange atmosphere, created by the writer Adam Elliot, someone who can combine serious and dark issues with comical moments. The animation  is made in a way to handle situations that are both intelligent and amusing, at times allowing the audience to laugh at the tougher times in life we can all identify with.

Th characters are so lovely, Mary has this innocence that makes you feel sorry for her living with an alcoholic and busy father, not to mention her bullying, her constant positivity and light heartedness makes it so we are always wanting better for her.

There is a charming collection of supporting characters also, all of them are living strange hyper realistic lives that take an even stranger tragic and comical tone, examples being, Mary's mother, who is a secret alcoholic, drinking sherry from a tea cup.

The best thing about this animation is simply the story itself, an overly tragic and lonely story, depicting detachment from society. Lives of characters that never really get where they should be, There is a clear sense that Mary and Max's friendship would never have worked in person. The friendship somehow endures so many years, through thick and thin, helps each others lives.

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