No more layers, please…

By the time you reach adulthood, you realise the saying “love and marriage goes together with a horse and carriage” really is a bunch of wish-wash, even in a place called Far Far Away. Forget Snow White and Rapunzel, it seems fairytales are not about ‘forever afters’ after all – just ask our favourite ogre, Shrek (Mike Myers).



In Shrek Forever After, the fourth and (reportedly) final instalment of the saga, Shrek gets the so-called ‘itch’. Despite being married to his one true love, Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz) and having several children, Shrek feels trapped and longs for his days as a mean bachelor-ogre, alone in his swamp (fairytale for ‘man-cave’) with no responsibilities. Once a revered creature, Shrek is now resigned to autographing the pitchforks of the very villagers he used to frighten.


So, the friendly monster signs a deal with the proverbial devil, in this case, the devious Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn). Shrek is fooled into swapping one day of his current, menial life for a day free of nappies and arguments with his better half. But, being the power-hungry dwarf we came to know in the Grimm brothers’ fairytale, Rumpel takes the day Shrek was born. Now, Shrek is dumped into a Far Far Away which he never saved, where Rumpel is king, Shrek and Fiona never met and ogres are hunted creatures.


And thus, the journey of the hero begins, yet again. Shrek has to reacquaint himself with his best pal and ally, Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and join the underground ogre-resistance, led by none other than Fiona: princess-turned-warrior a lá Joan of Arc. Shrek also has to convince a much more cynical Fiona to fall in love with him again and give him “true love’s first kiss”, otherwise the day will run out and he’ll cease to be.


Shrek Forever After is an average animated family film, which lacks the originality and wit of the first two (the third being the predictable prelude to the fourth). The story is tired and Disney would do well to leave it be now. The most stimulating thing about the film was making me wonder whether children will pick up on the theme that marriage is entrapment and children a career-killer. Sure, the film has the obligatory happy ending but how many cycles of misery, happy ending, misery, happy ending must one endure? While the new 3D version of Shrek adds some visual interest, this ogre is best left alone, forever after.


Director: Mike Mitchell
Cast: Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy, Antonio Banderas
Rating: 2½ out of 5

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2 thoughts on “No more layers, please…

  1. Pingback: Shrek Forever After (2010) | Cine

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