Film: 'Shrek Forever After'; Voiceover: Mike Myers, Walt Dohrn, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas; Director: Mike Mitchell; Rating: ***
When the first 'Shrek' released far, far back, it entertained everyone by turning every known fairy tale around. Then came the sequels, and things went downhill. Thankfully, the makers discovered the lost magic formula, and this time, instead of other fairly tales, they turned the tables on their own story.
Like all things human and ogre, Shrek is no longer happy with his 'boring', contented life, raising kids and listening to the same stories from friends. He longs for the excitement of his bachelor life, where everyone was scared of him. So, in a fit of desperation, he trades a day from his life with a day of living the old scary life. Sadly, he makes the deal with Rumpelstiltskin, who had always wanted to usurp 'Far Far Away'.
As expected, things turn horribly wrong and everything changes. Shrek is now in an alternate reality where his best friend Donkey does not recognize him, the flamboyant cat Puss in Boots is big, fat and lazy, and Fiona, tired of waiting for the kiss that will change her, has rescued herself and is now the leader of the resistance fighting Rumpelstiltskin and the witches who now rule 'Far Far Away'.
And it is up to Shrek to correct his 'mistake' so that things get back to normal. And he has only a day to do it in before he loses his existence as Rumpelstiltskin has prevented his birth in this reality.
The first 'Shrek' in 2001 was an instant hit in every department. 'Shrek 2' was a worthy successor. But the third instalment disappointed everyone. Thankfully, 'Shrek Forever After' returns the much needed fun quotient into the most successful animated franchise of recent times.
The attention to detail in its 3D is good and entertains. However, like the first part, there is a lot of humour happening in the background for the delight of the discerning and observant viewer. Knowledge of fairy tales enhances the entertainment quotient.
The introduction of new characters, Rumpelstiltskin and Pied Piper, along with new facets to the same old characters, brings the much needed novelty to the film.
After the dismal third part, everyone wished this ogre to go away. However, 'Shrek Forever After' will have audiences wanting more of this, purportedly last film of the franchise. But as they 'don't' tell you about fairy tales, there's never really a 'forever after'. Besides, there are enough fairy tales in the world left untouched by the team, for them to turn a few more around if they desire to make another.