In a rainy soggy world, a populace of marrionettes, bound to the sky by strings, make love & war with eerie ferocity, having their own philosophies & dreams & struggles. As wood rots, cracks, or deteriorates, these people age, & their method of reproduction is also shown. In this world, good is ambiguous, but evil is thoroughly appalling.
Viewed as animation & advanced puppetry, Strings (2004) is a work of serious & extreme beauty. The designs for the marionettes & the world they live in are aesthetic to the highest degree. Strings has all the makings of a mature adult film except for one element: its story.
The heroic fantasy tale of war & rivalry for a throne is not as refined or well done as the marionettes themselves. The story is old-hat to say the least, & relies more on familiarity than logic to make sense.
For the story to function, every character has to be just too stupid even to act in their own self-interest. For a single example, when the old king decides to commit suicide, he takes no precautions that his death won't be misrepresented as murder. He leaves a suicide note for his son, the throne's heir, with advice that could be the salvation of two nations, but again takes no precaution that his son will ever actually see it.
Throughout the film characters have to be inept or unintelligent in order to perform the actions they perform. Motivation then becomes little more than lack of basic foresight. Storywise it would certainly be sufficient to convince child viewers, but some of the film's visions are too dark for littler viewers, & one definitely gets the impression that this Danish film was not intended for kids.
When viewing the trailer all one can assess is the visual beauty of the film, which is awesome. But watching the actual film is occasionally tedious because of the inadequacies of the story being told.
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