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A visually stunning film, which doesn’t have much of a story to pair with its visuals.
Review (with Spoilers)
The draw for me was seeing Audrey Tautou in this movie, but something about it didn’t push me to want to see it in limited release. Also, even when it came out on VoD, I wasn’t craving to see it. For despite Tautou and Michel Gondry, who made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, something just seemed off. As for whether my apprehension was justified, look below.
Characters & Story
As Colin (Romain Duris) watches his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) get into a relationship, as well as his cook/ friend Nicolas (Omar Sy), he finds himself wanting to find someone to call his own too. Enter Chloe (Audrey Tautou), a friend of one of Nicolas’ associate Isis (Charlotte Le Bon), who becomes Colin’s love interest, wife, and the one who creates the main plot of the movie. For, you see, her inhaling a flower seed leads to her getting sick. Thus leaving us watching Colin spend the whole movie, and most of his money, trying to keep her alive.
When it comes to live action animation, I don’t think anything of recent memory compares to Mood Indigo. For between the doorbell which crawls around like a spider, and splits apart when hit, in live action, and the various visual effects which are very trippy, I think watching this film while under the influence would probably be something else. Though, for the sober crowd, what I perhaps adore the most is the first half of the film in which Colin and Chloe date and Tautou reminds you of how great of a love interest she can be. For with her sort of coming off like Amelie, but a little less eccentric, she and Duris create such a beautiful romance. One which helps guide you through the madness of the film.
Let me begin by saying: as much as I love the visuals of the film, I feel they can either be seen as compensating for the story or perhaps leading to the story to become utter dribble. The reason I say that is because the world created is very strange, as are the people. Take for example their dancing called Biglemoi which leads to people’s legs stretching unnaturally and then this weird mouse we see throughout the film whose presence makes you wonder what were the writers smoking?
And that is just the surface level stuff which may make you go “what the —-?” But what is unfortunate about all these oddities in the film, is that it doesn’t lead to any sort of message or anything like The Zero Theorem does. If anything, all these weird little animated things, and the world surrounding Colin and Chloe, just doesn’t do much for the film’s plot. I mean, it does make this film seem like it desperately wants to be seen as different, but with that comes a slightly unnatural feel to it. Making it so while the visuals are interesting, you aren’t sure if you should blame them for how bad the story ends up being, or whether they are there to compensate for the bad story ?
Overall: Skip It
- Quite honestly, I didn’t even want to review this film. For I can’t even say it is horrible since it may just be that I don’t get it. For while the film does have a certain appeal, at first, after some time it seemed the story drifted to stranger and stranger places, to the point only the jazz music gave this film any sort of saving grace. Hence the Skip It label for whether it is just me, or perhaps the film itself just requires certain type of drugs, at the end of the day the jazz music is perhaps the only thing consistently good about this movie. Which is sad for it started off so promising.
Things to Note
To be quite honest, after around an hour I started speeding through the film because it was dragging for me. The relationship between Colin and Chloe was established, I couldn’t get into Chick’s addiction to this one author, and all that was going on in their world was losing its luster and I found it hard to keep my interest.