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It takes you a few minutes to realise what is happening as the camera stays clearly shy of its characters (the most ever in a movie perhaps). The overhead view of this animated world is but a warm up. If anything, when the camera starts moving, you think it is a micro-zoomed-in part of something reachable: a textured table or a glove or maybe even an abstract title sequence.
The identity of animated films in India has never flowered into something tangibly serious. As if they are supposed to be children’s films just because they don’t have living characters, animated films keep to themselves. And they are left to themselves as well, with a few coins of affection thrown in their direction. mil
How then would you view A Million Years of Good Weather? Do you prepare by telling yourself that it is an abnormal film and hence needs some bonus points? Do you intentionally forget your red marker at home because you feel a parental affection to it? Would you forgive the odd unetched character, and excuse the odd miss of inbetweens?
Well, you don’t have to in this case. Let’s pick up from where we left off. The “micro-zoomed-in” part is actually a mega zoomed-out part. We are kidding ourselves if we think this is a fluffy animated film. The canvas is so vast that once you see what that “texture” was all about, you’d forgive the camera for not having a big enough iris.
The premise, as a voiceover tells you, is that in a distant future technology, medicine and homogeneity will improve and collectively form a perfect human. Perfect humans. Many perfect humans. Only perfect humans. Now when the mega-zoomed-out camera dives in, all you see is this megalith of humans, all beautiful, all healthy, packed beautifully in an earth which has nothing else. They have nothing to worry about, they can all speak the same language, they have no illnesses, they are all pretty and handsome, they don’t have morning, afternoon or evening chores to do, no boss, no pain, no errant asteroids, no wildfires… nothing to worry about.
They will also never die.
With this as the premise, are we still watching an animated film content with itself. Not quite. The animated form is convenient for the scale of the film, but it doesn’t lessen it in any way. You do begin to think, after the voiceover, where can this film really go from here, if not down! But then, we haven’t lived in that world and the film opens a few new doors from here which is better left unrevealed in this review. A one line review is a lot easier: buy a ticket!