Imagine waking up in a foreign place with your memory wiped out. You can’t remember your parents’ faces, your last meal, or your Facebook password. You don’t even know your name. It seems like you are in a state of amnesia. Now add a giant maze with mechanical creatures and other deadly weapons in the mix. That is how and where you will live until you manage to escape the cage you are in. Scared? That is basically how the movie The Maze Runner started its story.
Written by an American author James Dashner in 2009, The Maze Runner is the first instalment in a New York Times bestseller, young-adult dystopian trilogy under the same name. This year, it also became a success as soon as it hit the theatres. Before the movie was opened for public screening in my country, I got the chance to get be invited on its premiere night. How cool is that? To share my luck, let me give you my two cents on this film. I will try to be good and not be a spoiler!
The lucky tickets!
The film stars Dylan O’Brien (Thomas), Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Newt), Will Poulter (Gally), Ki Hong Lee (Min Ho), and Kaya Scodelario (Teresa). Most of the acting is okay for me, though I can’t stop thinking of Will Poulter as the annoying Eustace Scrubb. It may also be improved if Kaya has been given more lines in the movie being the only female in the group. But if dear readers really know me, then you should correctly guess whom my eyes were glued to during the entire 113 minutes of The Maze Runner! I was so happy that this film gave Ki Hong Lee a big role that I sometimes confused him of being the hero in the story.
As I continued watching The Maze Runner, I did not fail to notice how this post-apocalyptic trend has been going on as of late. No wonder moviegoers referenced The Hunger Games and Divergent after viewing this film. Though I could also include hints of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Lord of the Flies. And oh, Pan’s Labyrinth. While the author added some bits to make it the sensation that it is now, The Maze Runner storyline seemed a tad unoriginal and predictable. Still, the plot was very intriguing that even it was somehow a re-telling of an original story, it was given a refreshing tone and detail.
For the cinematography, I could say that it is passable even though I could point out some rooms for improvement. I like how the film is fast-paced and thrilling with building tension, pulling me in as the movie progressed. It has a lot of twists and turns with excellent sound effects which made most people in the cinema jump in every surprise. Most actions were shot in poorly lit and dark places though. It made the maze scarier, but it also did not give the us a clearer view of what was happening. Furthermore, the movie ended abruptly, giving the audience more questions than answers. A typical cliff-hanger, especially since it will have a sequel.
Overall, The Maze Runner is an entertaining and thrilling start of a promised series. It left me a bit baffled, but I know that I only need to read the entire trilogy to understand it better. And that’s the end of my impromptu movie review.
Special thanks to Liv Co Lifestyle for the special blocked screening!
Food for Thought
After you watched The Maze Runner, you can ask yourself the following:
1. Currently, there is an emerging trend of dystopian novels featuring young adults, hence the genre being so popular in the YA category. How do you think would this story be different if the characters were adults?
2. Do you think Teresa being the only girl sent into the maze is a big deal? Why? Does her gender have a larger role in the story?
3. If you were Thomas, would you follow the other Gladers and live in the status quo, or would you try to break the rules and find a way out?