Robinson Crusoe: Cast Away

It must be incredibly tough to wreck some premises—the premise of a shipwrecked man getting marooned in an island, for instance. I am convinced that it must have involved long nights of hard work to make a film as dull as Robinson Crusoe from a story that bursts with adventure, and draws on the time-tested man vs nature premise. Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe is about the triumph of the human spirit, and if you are so inclined, can even be said to have been drawn from colonial history. The makers of the film somehow, in the abundance of their wisdom, seem to have decided to interpret Robinson Crusoe’s story from the perspective of the island’s animals. Targetted as it is at children, plenty of colourful animals abound the film’s universe: a dog, cats, a macaw (which I suspect plays an important character mainly because of its vivid plumage), even an armadillo… In fact, at one point, I wasn’t even sure what’d come of Robinson Crusoe as the film descends into a tepid animal adventure film with the cats, of course, playing spoilsports. Whatever these filmmakers’ grouse with cats, I’ll never know.

Genre: Animated Comedy
Director: Vincent Kesteloot, Ben Stassen
Cast: Matthias Schweighöfer, Kaya Yanar, Cindy aus Marzahn, Dieter Hallervorden
Storyline: The story of Robinson Crusoe, as told from the perspective of animals

Everything about the film is pedestrian. Every now and then, in a badly transitioned scene, you’ll be shown a conniving feline couple saying something as bland as, “Revenge will be sweet!” There’s nothing intelligent, nothing interesting about Robinson Crusoe. Worse, there’s almost nothing that’s funny too. In these Pixar times, the film’s animation reeks of amateur 3DS Max work. The camera at all times stays fixed and longer than it should. The makers will likely defend the film by pointing out that it’s targetted at children. I can’t imagine any child, who’s capable of following a story, finding this interesting. Infants, perhaps, may find the flashing colours and the saccharine voices amusing. But then again, they are intrigued by all sorts of noises.

This review was written for The Hindu. All copyrights belong to the organisation. Do link to this page if you’d like to share this review.

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