2022 is a year like never before. We have survived multiple Covid-19 waves, Armie Hammer got his dues, remakes are a thing, and a movie without scripts but with VFX is sold like hot cakes. Pinocchio is one such deal that many haven’t understood.
The 1940 classic was remade into a live-action starring Tom Hanks, Cynthia Erivo, Luke Evans, and Benjamin Evan Ainsworth as the titular voice character. Director Robert Zemeckis took liberties and added major changes to the screenplay, including the climax.
Pinocchio isn’t extraordinary – VFX can only enhance the story and not become one. But that is its most minor problem.
Luke Evans, who plays ‘The Coachman,’ gets his song in ‘The Coachman of Pleasure Island,’ which isn’t pretty!
The song is a menacing lyric about denying one’s conscience, peer pressure and convincing Pinocchio to join his kidnapped cart of children to their destination. Unlike the original, there are girls in the Coachman’s cart.
Yes, this is progressive and addresses the original film’s failings. But its misogynistic lyric is rampant in our conventionally gendered stupidity.
The song goes, “Real boys always want more / And real girls always like the real boys more.”
This song is a heinous advertisement of gender roles and promotes mandatory heterosexuality; that girls and boys are romantically inclined and can’t have any other connection.
Many people wouldn’t have any problem with this line, but I can’t imagine that kids would be singing this “catchy” song in the playground in 2022. The worst part is that many will believe those words as gospel truth and fortify the gender roles we should otherwise try to disassemble.
Whether it is Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, or Tom & Jerry, live-action movies are always challenging. They stick to the core element of the cartoons and add real-life adults into the mix. Sometimes it works, but most of the time, it doesn’t; Pinocchio is yet another example that makers should leave “classics” in the past!