"Luca" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
"Luca", a beautifully designed film set in Italy, is a great coming-of-age story about a young sea monster (Jacob Tremblay) who ventures out of the water to see the world around him. Along the way, he befriends another young sea monster named Alberto (Jack Dylan Grazer) and a young girl, named Giulia (Emma Berman), who is determined to win her town's annual sports event.
Our two sea monster protagonists want to escape from their reality by buying a Vespa, which will take them wherever they want in the world. They want to feel that sense of freedom, which I think is one of the biggest themes of the film. Luca wants the freedom to do whatever he wants without his parents getting in the way or stopping him.
At the same time, it also touches on the theme of discrimination, as the town is discriminating against the sea monsters just because they are afraid. Giulia's father, who is a very intimidating man, also only has one arm. This simply shows a person with a disability, without defining the character by their disability. This relates to events that have taken place in today's society, and this movie can help educate the children to not discriminate against anyone in the future. The writing is incredible as it provides this message for both children and adults to understand.
The direction of the film by Enrico Casarosa is great as it brings that bittersweet and nostalgic tone to the entirety of the movie. The film can make you feel extremely happy inside, but at the same time can make you miss the great memories you have. I think a huge part of this is due to the music selection of the film, which includes a slower, instrumental version of Abba's hit song, "Chiquitita".
Tremblay and Grazer have incredible chemistry together, and their scenes together are wonderful to watch. They are absolutely hilarious, and are great at playing two young kids who just want to break free and see the world. Critics and fans have hinted at the two boys being lovers, yet I don't see it as that. I see it more as a story of childhood innocence, with kids who just want to explore the world together.