Toys was never really well received. When it was released so many people did not enjoy the film and to this day remains very low on the ratings. Though reactions were mixed, from boring to outrage, it seemed to remain on the side of ‘not for me’. So far as people to assume that because the film title is Toys that it is relevant to children. Cinema has always had its side of illusion and storytelling in itself is a journey we all need to go on.
I remember being marvelled at this cinematography in this film, even as a child. I rewatched the film so many times our cassettes were barely holding together. I guess most people getting into the movie have different expectations of the outcome which has disappointed them in such a way that makes them totally dislike it. I think this happens when we see too much of society so expertly broken down. It stings deeply when you are faced with ideas beyond what is obviously in front of you. Of course, if you simply don’t like something then you don’t like it. The dislike of this film grew so far to find its director, Barry Levinson, nominated for a Razzie Award for Worst Director though lost to David Seltzer for Shining Through.
Toys had an interesting cast that played each character perfectly, starring Robin Williams, Michael Gambon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, LL Cool J, and Jamie Foxx. While being co-written by Barry Levinson and Valerie Curtin.
The story follows Leslie Zevo and his sister Alsatia Zevo, the children of a business big shot who owned a toy making company. After their father passes away the company is left to their uncle, Lieutenant General Leland Zevo. Leland has little care for toys while Leslie has only imagination to give. While this is happening we watch the relationships with various other characters develop and fine tune their ways into a magical story of hope, love and a bittersweet embrace for the obscure. Leland takes over the toy company to find suspicious activity afoot and decides that his son, Patrick, is the best fit for security control. They all bump heads in finding the best way forward for the toy company.
It is a film made for the weird out there. The people that see the world in a unique way that even when beautiful it can be overwhelming.
I doubt I will ever understand why so many people hated this movie, but in the same light I am sure that those who hate cannot see why I keep it so dear to my heart. There are few movies that bring to life what lives inside your imagination. Toys brought this type of liberation to my existence. As a person who had little in common with the people around me I can clearly remember watching Toys and feeling as though I could belong somewhere. Leslie Zevo has this profound compassion and desire to make the world a happy place while his sister Alsatia is incredibly weird and whimsical. Patrick Zevo is a harsh, stern man who likes his food to not touch each other on the plate while he is eating. I found a sense of myself floating the deeply odd and discomforting look into the mind of something that is peculiar.
You don’t have to like the film to appreciate the beauty is presents. So if anything, when you watch this for the first time expect something pretty.