It’s almost two months since the US release date of Pixar’s latest film Coco, and it is finally being released here in the UK this week (the official release date is 19th January). I was lucky enough to find an advanced screening in a cinema near me this past weekend so of course I had to take the opportunity to go and see it.
I was warned beforehand to take tissues and I am very glad I did! I cried on at least three occasions, although it’s hard to tell because I think I was still crying at points that started me off all over again. Let’s just say it was emotional.
Overall, I very much enjoyed Coco. It was visually beautiful – particularly the establishing shots of the land of the dead – and had such a warmth to it. It is a film about death, but there wasn’t anything morbid or depressing presented about death itself, and I really liked that. The real fear isn’t death but of being forgotten. That’s something that a lot of people can relate to. That fear was presented in a very real, honest way that meant that parts of the film that could have seemed corny or saccharine were not.
Although it was presented as a film about music, the real heart of the storyline was that of family and the way in which Mexican culture holds the family – both alive and dead – in such high regard. I can’t comment on how accurate the portrayal of Mexican culture is, of course, but it was a very generous, colourful and emotional portrayal that filled the film with its warmth.
There were moments of humour – I laughed out loud a couple of times – yet these did not take away from the sincerity of the storyline. The humour tied in perfectly with the more poignant and emotional moments, in the way that Pixar are so adept at doing.
I did have a few criticisms – my main one being that ‘Remember Me’, the song that so much of the film is framed around, was not actually a very good song. It wasn’t memorable, which took away from the believability of it being such an enduring song. The other criticisms are minor niggles that, frankly, are just me being picky.
Coco was an excellent, beautiful and thoughtful film and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Take tissues!