"Pinocchio" (2022) is a live-action/CGI retelling of the classic tale which has its roots in the beloved children's novel, "The Adventures of Pinocchio," written by Italian author Carlo Collodi. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, who is known for his imaginative filmmaking in movies such as "Back to the Future" and "Forrest Gump," this adaptation brings a timeless story back to life with modern cinematic technology and storytelling flair.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt lends his voice to the iconic character, Jiminy Cricket, who serves as the conscience and guide to the titular character, Pinocchio, voiced by Benjamin Evan Ainsworth. The heartwarming narrative revolves around the wooden puppet, carved with care and hope by the lonely and kind-hearted woodworker Geppetto, portrayed by Tom Hanks. Geppetto's yearning for a son miraculously brings Pinocchio to life, but the cheerful puppet must earn his place as a real boy through a series of trials that test his bravery, loyalty, and honesty.
Set in a richly-detailed Italian village, the film radiates with the warmth and nostalgia of classic storytelling coupled with the enhanced expression and magic that current visual effects can offer. The quaint setting is characterized by cobblestone streets, rustic architecture, and the bustling dynamics of a community that is at once enchanted by Geppetto's creation and indifferent to the wonders of living among such marvels.
The narrative of "Pinocchio" is an enchanting adventure, as Pinocchio navigates the complexities of the world with the innocence of a child yet to learn the harsher realities of life. His journey is both an external quest filled with exciting escapades and flavorful characters, and an internal struggle to understand the depth of his actions and their consequences. The wooden boy's path is peppered with larger-than-life personalities, from the sly Honest John, a manipulative fox, to the Blue Fairy, whose delicate grace belies a firm resolve to see Pinocchio through his quest for humanity.
As much as it is a fantastical journey, "Pinocchio" also serves as a poignant exploration of the themes of parenting, the imperfections of human nature, and the meaning of individuality. Geppetto’s love for Pinocchio is a driving force in the film, showcasing the boundless depth of parental love and the ache of loneliness that can be felt by those without family. The film doesn't shy away from portraying the aspects of growth, as Pinocchio makes mistakes, learns, and grows much like any child, but under the extraordinary circumstance of not being human.
The cast's performances, both through voice and screen presence, are robust and deeply engaging, with Hanks delivering a heartfelt portrayal of Geppetto, imparting the film with grounding emotionality. Joseph Gordon-Levitt's voice acting brings a charming and witty sense of humor to Jiminy Cricket, who serves not only as Pinocchio's conscience but also as a narrator of sorts, guiding the audience through the story's moral and imaginative landscape.
Technologically, "Pinocchio" is a feast for the eyes, utilizing cutting-edge CGI to bring the wooden puppet and his world to convincing life. Zemeckis's direction ensures that the technical wizardry serves the story, never overshadowing the characters or emotional beats that make the tale so enduring. Instead, the visual effects are used to enhance Pinocchio's expressiveness, the fantastical elements of the story, and create vibrant set pieces that are both daring and delightful.
Musically, the film offers a refreshing take on classic songs from the original animated version, providing a nostalgic undertone while also introducing new musical elements and scores that accompany Pinocchio's journey. These songs and musical interludes provide both thematic reinforcement of the film’s messages and emotional highlights that complement the visual storytelling.
"Pinocchio" (2022) ultimately reinforces the timeless appeal of its source material by focusing on the heart and soul of the original story while applying a contemporary lens to its delivery. It is a tale of growth, responsibility, love, and redemption that speaks to both the young and the old, inviting viewers to reconsider their own journeys and the actions that define them. With a blend of the new and the familiar, this retelling of Pinocchio is sure to leave a lasting impression, capturing the wonder of the magical tale that has enchanted audiences for generations.
Pinocchio is a 2022 fantasy movie. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.1 and a MetaScore of 38.