REVIEW: MOOD INDIGO / CERT: TBC / DIRECTOR: MICHEL GONDRY / SCREENPLAY: MICHEL GONDRY / STARRING: ROMAIN DURIS, AUDREY TAUTOU, GAD ELMALEH, OMAR SY / RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 1ST
Imagine taking Roman Holiday directed by Federico Fellini channeling Pee Wee’s Playhouse, the surreal imagery of Orson Welles’ The Trial and throwing in the work of artist Mark Ryden. Mood Indigo is a visual treat using impressive stop motion animation and forced perspectives in a surreal, Kubrickesque, cinema vérité world, but sadly, Gondry’s imagery goes on too long delivering style but no substance.
Wealthy bachelor Colin (Duris) spends his time creating odd, Rube Goldberg-inspired contraptions such as the piano cocktail (a cocktail making piano that would make Liberace blush), enjoying exotic dishes prepared by his friend and chef, Nicholas (Sy) while hanging out with his best buddy, Chick (Elmaleh), a devout worshipper and collector of memorabilia of existentialist laureate, Jean-Sol Parte (an obvious reference to Jean-Paul Sartre).
A chance meeting at a party has him smitten by Chloe (Tautou), where they fall in love dancing to music by Duke Ellington in a bizarre, nightmarish dance routine called the biglemoi that looks like something from out of a '40s Warner Brothers cartoon.
One dream-like event leads to another in this strange, fantasy love story that includes a flying cloud crane lifting our starstruck lovers over Paris and the revolving flowers in the florist shop run by an owner whose dress changes as quickly as the flowers do.
Over time, our two lovers decide to wed, but must compete in a stop motion car race through an Escher-like church with Chick and his girlfriend. Whoever reaches the minister first, gets to be married which is quite creative.
Mood Indigo starts out as a fun, comical romp, but slowly spirals downward into the dark, sombre abyss that puts a damper on the film, especially with the melancholy ending. Gondry does a good job adapting Boris Vian’s novels, but this film will probably only satisfy effects enthusiasts and followers of Vian’s work.
Expected Rating: 8 out of 10
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