Thursday, May 27, 2004


Voiced by Mike Myers, Shrek, the mean, green fighting machine (or love machine, if you go by the steamy opening scenes!) is back for a second installment, and boy, is he back with a bang! With a bagful of new characters, most memorably, Puss-in-boots, voiced delightfully by Antonia Banderas, the story takes Shrek and Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) to “meet the parents” in the kingdom far, far away. But “great evil is afoot”, in the form of the fairy godmother (Jennifer Saunders) who runs a potion-producing, hex-making, “happily ever after” factory and is determined, by hook or crook, to get Princess Fiona married to the devilishly handsome son, Prince Charming (Rupert Everett).

The parents in question are the King (John Cleese) and Queen (Julie Andrews) of Far, Far away, a magical, Hollywood-style kingdom, that is home to such fairytale celebrities as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Back from their honeymoon, Shrek and Fiona receive a summons from the royal couple who have got the news that the curse on their beloved daughter has been broken by her prince charming (not to be confused with The Prince Charming!). Not knowing that the curse has been broken by an ogre, they still expect to see a beautiful Fiona and a radiant prince. Fiona convinces the reluctant Shrek to make the long trip (made longer by Donkey’s (Eddy Murphy) incessant chatter, one of the more hilarious sequences of the movie).

The fanfare of their arrival at the kingdom is quickly dissipated when everyone sees that they are, well, ogres! Shrek and Fiona soon have a spat and things don’t improve when the fairy godmother, on coming to realize that her plan to have Charming marry Fiona have gone awry devises a plan to do away with Shrek. Enter Puss-in-boots, Ogre Slayer par extraordinaire, with a major fur-ball problem!

The movie really picks up when Puss joins Shrek and Donkey in their effort to mend things with Fiona. What follows is a whirlwind adventure involving magic potions, a horse-carriage chase, a “Mission Impossible” style break-in and giant gingerbread men, culminating in one of the most terrific climaxes ever in animated movie history! There is still time for a twist in the end of the tale as well as a very stylish rendition of “Living la Vida loca”!

Shrek 2 is all that Shrek was and much more. It matches and many times exceeds the wit of the first movie: the animation here has been lifted up another notch and the new characters add substance to the movie rather than simply making up the numbers. The pairing of Donkey and Puss, especially, is hilarious and definitely the highlight of the movie. This is definitely the best movie of the summer so far and will require something special to overtake it!


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