Friday, 15 December 2017

Film Review | The Hero's Journey: UP

The story starts with a storyline meeting Carl, the hero of this story, and Ellie, his wife. After Ellie dies, Carl has to live alone in their house. And here it is when his hero’s journey begins.

The Call to Adventure is when there is a construction project around Carl’s house, and the construction company wants Carl to leave his house, something he doesn’t want to do mainly because his house is his comfort zone, his everything. Carl refuses that call (Refusal of Call) when he starts to have problems with the construction company. Carl loses his house to a lawsuit and is sent to a retirement home to live there for the rest of his life. Before he leaves, he finds his childhood book and realizes that he still has not been able to go to Paradise Falls. Then, Carl meets Russel, a wilderness explorer who wants to help him, and that is the Supernatural Aid. Even though Russel is just a kid, he is Carl’s mentor because he is the one who forces Carl to be the hero. But at first, Carl denies any help from Russel.

Crossing the First Thresholds is when Carl attaches helium balloons to his house and flies through the sky. Once his house is lifted up, there is no going back. Then he realizes Russel is still in his house and decides to take him back home, but there is a thunderstorm where Carl has a near-death experience (Belly of the Whale). Carl wakes up in South America, being far away from the Paradise Falls.

The Road of Trials starts when Carl struggles to get his house to Paradise Falls and also has to deal with Russell, Kevin (the Paradise Falls bird), Dug (Charles Muntz’s dog) and Charles Muntz (Carl’s childhood hero, who is also the villain of the movie). Charles hunts Kevin and Russel decides to save him but gets caught too.

Before Carl decides to go to save Rusell and Kevin, he goes inside his house and sees a photo of Ellie, and that is the Meeting the Goddess. Ellie did not do much to help Carl, but she somehow encourages him as she is essential for Carl.

Temptation is when Carl only thinks about getting his house in the Paradise Falls without thinking about Kevin and the others.

The Atonement with the Father is Russell telling Carl a story about counting cars with his father, which even though it seems to be boring, that is one of the things he loves the most basically because of doing it with someone he loves. Carl realizes that Russel is just a lonely boy seeking for love and attention because it’s something he doesn’t get from his dad. The Apotheosis comes along when Rusell decides to save Kevin by his own but he gets captured too, and Carl discovers that even though Ellie didn’t achieve her dream of living next to the Paradise Falls, her greatest adventure was her relationship with Carl. She somehow encourages Carl to continue having adventures.

The Ultimate Boon is when Carl decides to go after Muntz throwing out all the excess of weight and getting his house back in the air. He is ready to go ahead on the final challenge with excitement and determination. Once his house is lifting up leaving all his belongings there, there is not going back, and that is the Refusal of Return. The Magic Fight is Carl’s fight with Muntz as he tries to rescue Rusell, Kevin, and Dug. As Carl is about to be killed by Muntz, Dug saves him being this the Rescue from Without.

Then Carl goes back to home with Russel and Dug (Crossing the Return Threshold). Master of Two Worlds is when apart from achieving the dream of having his house in the Paradise falls, he has also achieved happiness by living in the present and not in the past anymore. And finally, the Freedom to Live is when he sits on the sidewalk counting cars with Russel, something boring but better than a wild adventure because he is with someone he loves.

Illustration List:
Figure 1. Up (2009) [Film Poster] At: Accessed on: 15/12/2017
Figure 2. Up (2009) [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 15/12/2017

Figure 3. Up (2009) [Film Still] At: Accessed on: 15/12/2017

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