Netflix Flashback: 21 years of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’
(Credit: Netflix)

Film Flashback

Netflix Flashback: 21 years of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas'


As Netflix is continuously piling its figurative shelves with reams of original projects, it’s worth reminding ourselves that they started out by sharing some of the greatest Hollywood titles ever made. So, with Netflix Flashback, we’re looking back at some of the platform’s classic films and reminding ourselves just how great they are. Next up, is Jim Carrey’s mischievous charm in the classic Holiday film How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ron Howard’s 2000 holiday flick is based on Dr. Seuss’ well-known picture book and has become a classic in its own right. A celebration of love and family at the heart of Christmas cheer, the film sees a green and furry version of Scrooge from A Christmas Carol, named Grinch as the protagonist of the story. 

He is a misanthrope whose aversion and hatred for Christmas and the materialistic nature of the people of Whoville is rooted in a traumatic childhood experience. Devilishly naughty, he despises everything about the holiday spirit and the general joyous hubbub. With a bored and angry look plastered on his face, the Grinch is hilariously revulsive. From stealing gifts to rob the townsfolk of their happiness to be the living epitome of disgruntlement and envy, the Grinch is as anti-Christmas as one can be!

The Grinch’s disillusionment is disrupted by a little child named Cindy who is determined to make the Grinch feel the joy and warmth during the Holidays, much to the chagrin of the town’s salty mayor with whom the Grinch had a spat back in childhood. 

Carrey, as the Grinch, is quite mean-spirited and does a stellar job in playing the sour character. Although he is a joy kill from the very beginning, the audience members find themselves empathising with his feelings due to his previous encounters with bullies. He is explosive and unruly with philosophical dialogues that are laced with resentment and reluctance to let down his guard.

The Grinch’s ultimate redemption during his epiphany is an absolute delight to the eyes and the film, narrated by the gentle voice of Anthony Hopkins, helps one understand what Christmas is all about. A critique of consumerism during the Holiday season, the film reinstates the importance of love, warmth and family time above all.

As the Grinch finally lets go of his humiliation and malevolence and starts accepting the love and care that Cindy shows, his heart grows threefold which has become a cultural symbol. The Grinch has attained the stature of a pop-cultural icon and is an emblem of the spirit of Christmas. 

More than two decades later, this semi-effervescent classic will always remain a perpetual favourite during the Holiday season. By providing an insight into Dr. Seuss’ magical world, the film is a one of a kind classic that reinforces all that Christmas is about- love, redemption, joy and warmth.

“4:00, wallow in self-pity. 4:30, stare into the abyss. 5:00, solve world hunger, tell no one. 5:30, jazzercize; 6:30, dinner with me. I can’t cancel that again. 7:00, wrestle with my self-loathing. I’m booked. Of course, if I bump the loathing to 9, I could still be done in time to lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and slip slowly into madness.” – The Grinch