Monday, August 11, 2008

My Other New Enemy

I must sound like some kind of Grendel's mother, making enemies left and right. But the internet is the place for differing views to butt heads, right?

Spoilers ahead!

First of all, I loved Wall*E. I have a heart of ice when it comes to movies/books/general entertainment and I almost cried twice during this movie. I thought it was moving, heartfelt, and hopeful. Apparently someone else thinks it's a date rape movie.

I know.

He claims that he just doesn't get the relationship. He makes Wall*E out to be this socially retarded freak show hiding in his parents' basement with his collectables, and EVE to be the movie-cliche "other" who somehow sees beyond Wall*E's crippling lack of social skills. Also, holding her hand is date raping her.

Did we see the same movie?

I think Devin's problem is that he overlooked the movie's central conceit: they're robots. They don't function in relationships like humans. Wall*E is different because--since he's been left alone for so long--he's had to develop a personality. He's not all about the job. Neither is EVE. When she first gets to Earth, she waits until the spaceship is gone and then starts zooming around, enjoying how she can fly and move. These are two robots who have the same outlook on life--there's more than just the job.

However, EVE's job is still important to her, so when she sees how Wall*E has taken care of her when she was shut down, plus how he helped her not look like a fuck-up at work, she realizes, "Hey, this little robot is something special."

As for the shut down thing, Devin claims: 

Wall*E's big love montage--where Wall*E takes the shut down EVE all over the place and wines and dines her unconscious form--is the hyper-realization of that. But the movie takes it even farther and has Wall*E essentially date rape the sleeping bot--he forces open the plate on her body where her hand resides and pulls out the appendage so he can hold it. In the world of Wall*E hand holding seems to be like Doing It, or some variation thereof, and the little garbage bot forcing himself on a knocked out female is incredibly creepy.

Again, what movie was he watching? When EVE shuts down, Wall*E has no idea what's happened to her. His behavior is like someone taking care of a coma patient. He's trying to revive her with fun activities; he takes care of her; and the hand holding doesn't mean sex, it's Wall*E's way of saying "I love you" since he can't actually speak. He's not date raping her. He's expressing that he cares. When EVE sees all of this, she realizes how this little robot has done more than any other robot ever. (Same for the humans and other robots who meet Wall*E--they're so focused on the job that he, who forced contact, breaks them out of their self-contained shells.)

Mostly I feel like this review was just trying to be controversial for the sake of it. Why poke holes in something that's genuinely charming and nice?