Battle Against the Seven Evil Exes

What does one make of a film that doesn’t fight its graphic novel roots,but accentuates them gleefully? You can either like it.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: March 19, 2011 12:16:55 am

Scott Pilgrim vs The World

BIG Reliance Video

Rs 499

What does one make of a film that doesn’t fight its graphic novel roots,but accentuates them gleefully? You can either like it. A lot. Or press the dislike button.

I lean strongly towards the former category with Scott Pilgrim vs The World In Which Scott Pilgrim Wins His Lady Love. The said Scott is played by the terrific Michael Cera,who brings to the part all the traits that make him so instantly likeable. He makes himself so available to his co-stars,and to us,that he is all there,making the moments spark and jump. Scott is a young Canadian slacker who plays the bass guitar for a band called Sex Bob-omb and lives in Toronto. He’s going out,very platonically,with a high-school girl,whose idea of a hot date is to play video games. She skips along,in teenage fashion; that’s his cue to skip past to more grown-up pastures. He falls in a big way for a mysterious American girl called Ramona Powers,who has a thing for virulently coloured wigs and thin,uncertain young men. To win her over,Scott has to fight her seven evil exes,which he does with a great deal of flash and determination. Each duel is fast and furious,where Scott is punched,thrown about,flung at great pace. His rivals are colourful and skilled,but he wins every single encounter.

Director Edgar Wright deliberately never lets us forget that we are watching a comic-on-film: all the characters are just that much more limned. And everything is just that much more exaggerated. You know that this could be happening,somewhere in snow-bound Toronto,but you also know that these characters are not quite us. They are supremely,artfully manic.

The film manages to be surprisingly funny and tender for all its comic book allegiances,which it displays on its gaming sleeves.

The performances are crackling. Cera nails Pilgrim. Mary Elizabeth Winstead gets an alluring poutiness to her role,without letting it slide into bitchiness. And Keiran Culkin as Scott’s gay roommate is quite wonderful. The characters talk like hip youngsters all over the globe: it’s all very cool,very engaging,and very,as Scott would say,fun. You don’t have to be a 20-something slacker to enjoy this ride. Bonus features include scenes that had been deleted and chats with cast and crew.

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