The Simpsons Movie (2007)…

5 Aug

Of course I’ve gone mad with power! Have you ever tried going mad without power? It’s boring and no one listens to you!

– Russ Cargill in the Simpsons Movie 2007

The Simpsons are so popular that with as many as 400 twenty- two minute episodes of the TV series already been made, the movie is still being greeted with much anticipation. Much of its enduring reputation as a TV series probably has much to do with relatable characters and contemporary themes. The same can be said of the movie which explores various facets of modern life including the dynamics of family conflicts; the clash of secular and religious beliefs; and the danger we posed to our environment through man-made pollution.

The plot is straightforward. The Springfield Lake is polluted to the extent that it has become undrinkable. Lisa, the socially conscious girl, presents the problem to the town which then decided to act collectively and clean up their act. However, when Homer decided to dump his pig crap on the lake – shit from his latest pet which he saved from the butchers during a Krusty Clown advertisement; the water becomes toxic. The Environmental Protection Agency, headed by Russ Cargill, thus advises the President Schwarzenegger to place a gigantic transparent dome on the town, effectively shutting it from the external world to prevent the pollution from infecting other parts of the country. When the town realizes that it was Homer who had caused them to be quarantined, they turned up as an angry mob in the night outside his home with burning torches…

While the Simpson-esque moments are plenty and almost feels as if it is merely a longer version of the television episode, the movie is more than that. Its tighter storyline which continuously poses unnerving questions, coupled with better animation makes it an entertaining experience, and not just an extended episode made to fit into a movie screening.

Although we know that the Simpsons would be safe, we are still worried when they are driven out by the angry townsters. We also begin to wonder how the town is going to cope as it is shut off from the rest of the world. It is these cliffhangers and questions that keep the story going and the audience glued to their seats.

At the end of the Simpsons movie, the audience will be hard-pressed not to pick a favourite scene or memorable quotes. On the other hand, it also cleverly hides some important contemporary messages by making us laugh – be it family unit togetherness or saving mother earth. For those who have never seen a single episode of Simpsons, the film will still manages to do both. This is what precisely makes the Simpsons movie a good cinematic treat.

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