Mary and max

Topics: Color, Narrative, Human Pages: 1 (304 words) Published: February 18, 2014
The extent to which an individual obtains a sense of belonging is determined by their perception of the relationships and culture around them. Through Adam Elliot’s film ‘Mary and Max’, the idea that the way in which the characters look and act becomes almost as important as the ideas they communicate. This way of expressing the characters as individuals is evident through the scenes of letter writing throughout the film, when Mary was young, her wobbly handwriting, spelling mistakes, occasional crying and her postscripts such as, ‘P.S. 'Have you ever been teased?' not only communicate her struggles to the wider world, but also connects with the audience in relating to real life situations by personifying her as a real human being.

The film’s handcrafted style of animation undoubtedly enhances both the human dimension of the composer’s stories and the pathos of his characters’ struggle to live their lives. Further, the way each shot is composed within the frame has an effect on the way we respond to the narrative, helping us to distinguish the characters emotions throughout the film and in particular, their need to belong. This mise-en scene is enhanced through the various ‘close up shots’ of Mary when she is sad and grieving to express her emotions and how her negative experiences have directly impacted her, as well as over emphasising the colour brown in the environment, her ‘favourite color’ used in this context, symbolises the character’s isolation to the wider community, whilst maintaining her sense of belonging to herself. Mary’s ‘childlike’ world is directly juxtaposed to Max’s, making the audience sympathize with the character through the accumulation of long shots of a colorless New York, as well as slow tempo and depressing tone of music, to emphasise the dullness of Max’s life.
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