LUCA MOVIE REVIEW: An ebullient and light-hearted story of defiance, friendship and self-efficacy

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By: Arbeena Shah

Have you ever wondered about the life beneath the oceans and seas? Have you ever thought about whether sea creatures desire to see and explore life on land? And if they can make it on the land, how would humans treat them? Do they long for going to school, participate in a triathlon like us, and dream of owning a Vespa?

Well, if that could really happen, how would it be? Watch the recently released adventurous animated film ‘Luca‘ by Disney and Pixar to give life to your imagination.

Luca is a fantasy film directed by an Italian storyboard artist and filmmaker, Enrico Casarosa and written by Jesse Andrews and Mike Jones.

With a runtime of 95 minutes, it is an ebullient story of Luca Paguro, a sea monster, and his comrade Alberto Scorfano, set in summer on the sea coast of the Italian Riviera.

Luca is a young sea monster whose routine work includes herding goatfish. His mother constantly warns him of the dangers of land monsters (humans). One day, he encounters a small clock, glass, gramophone and other stuff beneath the sea. He secretly collects these human gadgets and wonders how life appears above the sea. Shortly, he meets his fellow sea monster Alberto, who sneaks him out of the sea. And Luca comes to know about their ability to turn into humans as soon as they step on the land.

Astonished to witness such a transformation and the breathtaking life on the land, Luca along with Alberto explore the never-ending adventures of human life. Alberto reveals to him some of the facts and happenings of life outside the sea, though some prove wrong later such as twinkling stars in the sky are fishes. They both dream of owning a Vespa to travel around the world. And then one day, Luca’s parents come to know about his mischievous adventure. They decide to send him with uncle Ugo to the deep sea.

Perturbed by their decision, Luca runs away with Alberto to the nearby fictional Italian town Portorosso where they meet Giulia Marcovaldo, a young red-haired zealous girl who befriends them. She teams up with Luca and Alberto for the famous Italian triathlon to fetch the Postorosso Cup which has been consecutively won by nefarious Ercole Visconti. The triathlon comprises of swimming, pasta-eating and cycling. Hence, begins another spell of thrill and adventure.

Luca is a light-hearted story of friendship, defiance and self-efficacy. It is a family movie perfect to watch during summer days. The charming and colourful setting of the story looks attractive. The Italian background of the director is prominent throughout the movie. One gets a mesmerizing glimpse of the Italian town, food, language, culture and of course, the seaside. The various varieties of finger-licking pasta especially the unique trenette al pesto makes one’s mouth salivate. The whole triathlon preparation is full of joy and enthusiasm.

The hideout of Alberto filled with the collection of various human stuff looks like a medieval gallery. The inquisitive nature of Luca and the bond between Guila and him look innocent and heartwarming. Alberto wins the heart at the end by selling their Vespa and buying a train ticket to let Luca fulfil his dream of attending the school. However, one may wonder what could be the future of Luca even if he attends the school. After all, he is a sea monster substantially. Nonetheless, the movie is a great watch for children and animation lovers. A treat on the weekend lockdown!

Arbeena Shah is a Media Graduate from the University of Kashmir. She is a freelance editor, feature writer, and film reviewer.


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