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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

‘Carol’ puts a new spin on an old tale

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is a novella that is undoubtedly among the most adapted works of literature out there. While many may feel that the story is old and overdone, myself included, Robert Zemeckis’ film of the same name gives a familiar story new life.

Ebeneezer Scrooge (Carrey) is a crotchety, unpleasant and parsimonious old man. Although he carries these traits with him throughout the year, it is when Christmas rolls around that Scrooge really becomes curmudgeonly. He cares for nothing but money and would take his wealth with him to the grave if he could. Yet Scrooge’s days of being inconsiderate and thoughtless are about to come to an end, as his former and very dead partner, Jacob Marley (Oldman), comes to tell him he will be haunted by three ghosts to show him the error of his ways. After this night of hauntings, it’ll be up to Scrooge to decide whether or not he can change his future.

Going into this film I expected Jim Carrey to employ his usual off-the-wall, rubberfaced antics. I’m delighted to say that is not the case at all. Naturally, some of the animation and facial expressions are going to look somewhat exaggerated, but this can be said for nearly all animated films. Carrey is, thankfully, appropriately reserved in nearly all aspects of his role. Even during the end he manages to be silly, but not so much that it’s over-the-top. Bob Hoskins is also a fun addition as Fezziwig, Scrooge’s old employer. His Cockney accent compliments his character very well.

The 3D of “Carol” is, I’m pleased to say, actually done very well. Instead of creating scenes to highlight random stuff popping out, it gives depth to the images on screen. When snow is falling we see it pass close to our own eyes, heightening the illusion that we’re actually there within the story.

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The cinematography of “Carol” is thrilling to watch, especially with the 3D enhancing it. Seeing Scrooge fly around the city alongside any one of the ghosts is a visual marvel. The actual animation is beautiful to look at and remains so throughout the entire movie. Although done in different styles, “Carol” proves that Pixar is not the only animation studio that has a unique eye for detail.
“Carol” is not without its flaws though. As much as I like the story of “A Christmas Carol” it’s indeed tiring to see the same story in various ways every Christmas. Credit must be given to Zemeckis, though, who is able to treat this story with the same sense of reverency that older, more traditional versions have. Regardless of what Zemeckis has done, it’s tough to beat Disney’s earlier incarnation, “The Muppet Christmas Carol.”

One of the most surprising facts of “Carol” is how dark the film actually is. To put it into perspective, when Scrooge is visted by Marley, there is a scene where Marley’s lower chin becomes detached and just hangs there. It may not seem like a lot to our desensitized generation, but for retelling “Carol” it’s certainly dark enough to scare at least a few children.

It may not be a perfect film, but “Carol” offers enough sentiment and joy to sway even the most stubborn person. Even if you’re not a fan of the story, it’s still worth checking out just for the visuals.

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