EO might appear on the surface to be the sort of film that Disney/Pixar would put out. The film concerns a circus donkey who escapes captivity and embarks on a journey through all walks of life, meeting an eclectic cast of characters and quietly observing all aspects of life. But EO is far from a kids film. This is a surreal, difficult viewing experience that may occasionally stray a little too close to pretentiousness but ultimately the feeling is one of delicate poignancy.
From filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski, EO is a thought-provoking and challenging story of societal ills and inaction. With a clear Robert Bresson influence – the ghost of Au Hasard Balthazar is felt throughout – the film is a quietly meditative journey that will certainly struggle to win over audiences used to being a little more spoonfed. Here, we are given the perspective of innocence through a donkey’s eyes witnessing all of the good and bad of society. And those melancholy eyes will stick with you long after the film’s chilling final moments.
This is one of those films that long reviews would detract from. While its messages are clear, their impact on the viewer will vary and audiences should go into it as blindly as possible so as to experience EO’s journey with him.
This is a beautifully shot, thought-provoking piece of art that will leave you considering your place in society and the future we are shaping. It is vital filmmaking that should be considered essential viewing.