Talking llamas are so passé, if you pay close attention, you'll actually see
a donkey in Shrek that not only sounds like Eddie Murphy, but also looks, mysteriously,
just like him.
And who and what is a Shrek? Well, he's an ogre who, when not minding his own business and his Ps and Qs and rather infected half Scottish - half Welsh accent, indulges in gooey mud baths in his own personal swamp, away from the town.
Shrek's (Mike Myers) swamp is soon taken over by Sleeping Beauty and a gingerbread man whose sugary legs have been chopped off, and about a million other Fairy Tale characters in between; as they have been driven out of their dwellings by the evil lord Farquaad (the irrepressible John Lithgow). Shrek is promised back his swamp if he manages to retrieve the beautiful princess Fiona from a way out tower, guarded by a fire breathing dragon.
Heck, an ogre's gotta do what an ogre's gotta do. So he teams up with the yakking donkey and both of them set out to rescue the princess. And they manage to do so with alarming ease, once the donkey charms the socks off the eyelash batting she-dragon.
Considering all the time the princess (Cameron Diaz) has been cooped up in the tower, all she's been doing is fantasizing about her Prince Charming and the stuff he'll do to knock her senses out. But then again, Shrek's unconventional looks were the last thing she'd be scribbling home to her fairy godmother. But then she makes do, and on the journey back home, the inevitable happens.
The rest of the stuff needs to be seen to be believed, and believe me, it's worth the dough. Shrek comes up with some cool cracks - not bellyaching hilarious, but definitely worth their weight in celluloid. Like the scene when Shrek sees Lord Farquaad's over imposing castle, and grins and says, 'Maybe he's compensating!' And this is when your bunty-wunty will find you giggling mysteriously. There is this cool part when the Princess goes all 'crouching tiger' on a rather French Robin Hood, and this is funnier than what passes as 'funny' nowadays.
Shrek-land is absolutely fabulous - the whole animation team at Dreamworks seems to work to put the right blade of grass in its designated place. The script shies away from the conventional and seems to tell us that the shortest distance between two points is a beeline. And just when you begin to get all mushy about the flick, the soundtrack seems to rub it all in.
En fin, one of those things that you wished you could see when you were growing
up. Heck, it's never too late. All those double entendre lines would have made
no sense back in the days of milk teeth and pulled up socks.