Thursday, 18 October 2012

Ted (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – The Talking Teddy Bear Fumbles A Bit!

2/5 Stars

A lonely kid John wishes that his Christmas present, a large teddy bear, comes to life to become his best friend. And he does!

‘Ted’ is quite delightful in some parts, utterly dull in most. The cast, including Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis, deliver decent performances. Seth MacFarlane, albeit wonderful with the voiceover, falls a bit short on the direction aspect. Brilliant ‘live-action’, but becomes a bit too dull towards the end.

Circa 1985, Josh Bennett (Bretton Manley) is a friendless kid who gets gifted a huge teddy bear on Christmas by his parents. Having developed a very close bonding with the stationary, mute stuff toy, Josh wishes that the bear comes to life and befriends him. Voila! That is exactly what happens. An innocent wish, on the night of a shooting star, turns into an unbelievable miracle. Josh and the newly christened bear, ‘Ted’ (Zane Cowans), become thunder buddies.

Years go by, but the camaraderie is unaffected. Just that the duo, 35-year-old Josh (Mark Wahlberg) and the somewhat older Ted (Seth MacFarlane), now smoke joints, sip beer, watch vintage television series (Flash Gordon!) and just have a good time. Now, Josh is going through a rough patch. With an ordinary job at the car rental service and, more or less, no real aim in life, Josh finds it tough to live up to his girlfriend Lori’s (Mila Kunis) expectations. Lori doesn’t approve of Josh and Ted’s mingling, most of which includes smoking up and getting wasted! Things reach a point when Lori asks Josh to choose between her and Ted! Put in the mix, Lori’s skirt-chasing boss and a maniacal father-son duo pursuing Ted!

The film kind of gets mixed up with its principal genre. Should it be a romantic comedy or an emotional drama or a raunchy comedy or a mix of everything? We don’t figure out till the end. There are some moments in the film which evoke loud guffaws. However, most one-liners lack the punch. There’s a scene in which Ted and Josh go head-on and get involved in a 2-minute-long heated altercation. Assumingly, the scene must have been written as a funny one but then, on film, it just looks absurd.

Mark and Mila deliver nice performances. Seth does wonderfully in the voiceover. Even the dialogues are quite good. However, the screenplay falls short. The film should have been a bit shorter. The first-half was half-decent but the latter part, instead of salvaging the film, ends up worsening it. The animation and visual effects are absolutely brilliant. Director Seth MacFarlane does an average job.

‘Ted’ is not a bad film. However, at some point in the second half you may end up asking yourself – “When is it going to get over?”

Shivom Oza

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