Film Review: “A Christmas Carol” (2009)

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What do we do as human beings to improve our own life, personality, and be a better version of ourselves? It’s a healthy thing to do when we put us before others but what happens when that normal attitude turns into selfishness when we expect everyone else to do the same for us and we do nothing in return? “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, perhaps, provides the best example of how one person can change from bad to good, being greedy to generous, and lastly to be as kind as possible to others not just on Christmas Day but even long after it’s gone.

The story of “A Christmas Carol” is old as the world itself. Scrooge just lost his business companion, Marley. He is so devoted to money that he decides even what belonged to Marley’s now closed lifeless eyes. He disrespects his clerk, Bob (Gary Oldman), ignores his only nephew, Fred (Colin Firth), and overall, hates Christmas with all his dark heart. It seems nothing would change Scrooge to reconsider himself as a different person until the moment when the ghost of Marley appears to announce that three more ghosts are about to pay Scrooge a visit. And if the old man does not want to end up in the same way dead Marley ended with, Scrooge better pay attention to reverse the fate which the businessman is doomed for.

When the film begins, Marley is already dead. Scrooge, who was supposed to feel sorry, does not care at all. He takes the money from a dead person believing that he can’t spend it in the afterlife, and gives it to the funeral boy as a tip. After that, we are taken seven years forward on the day of Christmas Eve where Scrooge, as a person, could not get any worse. Still having a cheap personality, he refuses to donate money to a local charity organization, is reluctant to allow Bob to spend Christmas with his loved ones, and declines Fred’s invitation to attend a family dinner stating it as a waste of time. However, what happens later the same day will be a life-changing moment for Scrooge and shocking to others as the man they knew the day before will vanish into thin air replacing him with the most generous and kind-hearted person living on Earth who’s full of charm.

“A Christmas Carol”  is an animated film from Robert Zemeckis that turns the beloved Dickens’ novel into a marvelous journey into the human heart. Talking about the man that had to be haunted by the three spirits to be self-redeemed, is an excellent human portrait painted in the history of animation. Despite the deep concept, Zemeckis manages to translate it onto cinema in the most subtle way possible. As we already know that those three spirits are about to force Scrooge to travel back in time, witness his present, and see what happens after he dies, is a marvelous way to teach not only adults but children as well. There’s always a way to escape a harsh past by starting to looking at ourselves now to avoid what is avoidable in the future.

In the end, with the help of a stellar cast, including the amazing Jim Carey as Scrooge, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn, “A Christmas Carol” is an instant classic which, even after ten years, still seems new. It’s a heartfelt story that shows that no matter what we are inside or outside, it can be changed with a little push. In case of Scrooge, it had to be bigger than that. Of course, in reality, we don’t have to be forced to face our past or what we became when there is only one thing that needs to be done for a small change – to listen. This is why Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is like a love letter to a generation to make them realize that changes are possible when there’s a desire for it.

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