Main cast: Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), Cameron Diaz (Princess Fiona), Vincent Cassel (“Monsieur” Robin Hood), and John Lithgow (Lord Farquaad)
Directors: Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson
From all the rave reviews, I’d have thought Shrek some new revolutionary animated kiddie movie. It’s not.
It’s about this annoyingly wimpy ogre named Shrek who is mad when his swamp becomes the refuge of other fairy tale creatures. You see, Lord Farquaad, a transparent comic figure for Hitler, decides to cleanse his kingdom of “ugly, unnatural” fairy tale creatures by relocating them to concentration camps (anybody with more than two brain cells can guess what this is parallel to). Shrek, not seeming to care that he himself is a fairy tale figure, decides to accept Farquaad’s offer: if Shrek rescues Princess Fiona from a castle guarded by a fire-breathing dragon, Farquaad will get rid of the squatters on Shrek’s swamp. So off Shrek goes, along with his unwanted companion, a talking donkey named, well, Donkey.
Of course, Princess Fiona isn’t what she seems. And she and Shrek fall in love over blowing up froggie/snake balloons and eating swamp rats… but can Shrek overcome his self-consciousness and hang-ups about his looks?
First off, whoever thought that Donkey is funny deserves to be fired. Donkey is upstaged in the irritating non-stop jibba-yibba department only by the dreaded Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode 1: The George Lucas, sorry, Phantom Menace. Secondly, Shrek is a wimp. This story is fake. From the first scene onwards, Shrek is depicted as an oh-so-misunderstood sad, weepy, puppy-eyed ogre who just wants to be loved. Yeah? Is the ogre in the same species classification as a human being, anyway? Because I can’t see Fiona and Shrek kiss without cringing. It’s like seeing Chewbacca and Princess Leia kiss – there’s something rather wrong and distasteful about this. But it’s not as distasteful as the lovesick dragon chasing after the donkey. You know, Shrek must be the first animated movie to play fast and loose with the subject of bestiality. Kudos to Dreamworks for trying to push the envelope, but please, not a donkey and a dragon. And not a human and Shrek, puh-leese.
And also, Shrek has to rely on a big misunderstanding rubbish as the plot climax that make me want to scream. Plus, it’s a fake. For all its preachy nonsense about beauty being skin-deep, personality is all that matters, ogres are like onions (don’t ask), et cetera, it at the same time does not pull the punches when it comes to humiliating Farquaad for his name and his height. Apparently it’s okay to be green and chubby, but not short. Short is really nasty.
Shrek is nice to look at, and the dancing, probably gay Merry Men with bad French accents are hilarious. But whenever I see Fiona and Shrek playing Romeo and Juliet… eeeuw. I think I may even have to bleach my eyeballs. See Shrek eat a swamp rat and then watch him pucker as he is about to kiss Fiona, and try not to loose your dinner. I dare you.
And parents, be prepared if your kids ask some uncomfortable questions after watching this movie.