Posted by Jill Boniske aka Arty Chick on September 15, 2014
Writer/director Michel Gondry brought us Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind , one of the more strangely inventive stories of the 21st century. With Mood Indigo he returns with a French novel adaptation that is every bit as odd, though maybe not quite as effective. It begins as Colin discovers that his best friend Chick has found love, which sends him on a quest to find his own. His chef/friend/lawyer Nicolas, the beautiful Omar Sy from The Intouchables, has a neice who is having a party, and there Colin meets Chloé, the lovely Audrey Tautou of Amélie. He is instantly smitten. And their romance is all fun and sweet and beautiful until she falls ill with a water lily growing in her lungs and the world turns dark.
Gondry has created an amazingly fantastic world in which this romance is played out. In the opening scene, Colin shows Chick his new pianocktail, a piano that dispenses drinks according to the music you play. And there is a live-in mouse that helps around the house, and doorbells that run off when they are rung and have to be smashed like bugs. And Nicolas is always busy cooking meals that may or may not move about on their own. Colin’s fabulous apartment is somewhere in Paris and part of it seems to be a train car high above the city. Even without a good story this would be a fun film to watch for the visuals alone. But the story is sweet, though surreal and tragic. The great love that propelled Colin to find Chloé is ultimately doomed because of Chick’s obsession with the philosopher Jean-Sol Partre. And Colin’s life of leisure and comfort is useless when Chloé becomes sick while on their honeymoon.
This is a VERY quirky movie. And there are places that perhaps Gondry let his imagination go off the rails. You cannot go in expecting things to make perfect sense, but it is such fun to watch that the lack of a great script (a la Charlie Kaufman’s for Eternal Sunshine) can almost be overlooked. I would recommend it to people who are not looking for realism and love a well-made, visually creative to the extreme fantasy romance. And it has subtitles, but get over that.
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