STYLIST PICKS: ‘MOOD INDIGO’

STYLIST PICKS: ‘MOOD INDIGO’

8th October 2013 // Must Watch

As promised, or threatened, I’ve written a second film review; this time it’s for Mood Indigo.  

This French/Belgian film is an adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1947 novel L’ecume de Jour (I wanted to read this before I watched it but couldn’t get my hands on an English translation … the search continues.)

The film begins with Colin (Romain Duris), a well-to-do young man who lives a pretty content life with his accountant/cook/manservant Nicholas (Omar Sy), his friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh), who squanders everything he has on books by Jean-Sol Patre (yep, you can take a stab in the dark as to which existentialist philosopher being parodied) and his loyal and lovable pet mouse (Sacha Bourdo). But one day Colin decides he wants to fall in love.

As promised, or threatened, I’ve written a second film review; this time it’s for Mood Indigo.  

This French/Belgian film is an adaptation of Boris Vian’s 1947 novel L’ecume de Jour (I wanted to read this before I watched it but couldn’t get my hands on an English translation … the search continues.)

The film begins with Colin (Romain Duris), a well-to-do young man who lives a pretty content life with his accountant/cook/manservant Nicholas (Omar Sy), his friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh), who squanders everything he has on books by Jean-Sol Patre (yep, you can take a stab in the dark as to which existentialist philosopher being parodied) and his loyal and lovable pet mouse (Sacha Bourdo). But one day Colin decides he wants to fall in love.

Enter the adorable Chloe (Audrey Tautou). After a whirlwind romance, the two wed and what should be their happily ever after takes a turn for the worse as Chloe falls ill with a rare disease— a water lily in the lung, which can only be treated by constantly surrounding her with fresh flowers. Colin’s once carefree lifestyle is a thing of the past; as his money runs out he must, for the first time, earn a living to preserve Chloe’s life. It’s clear that the film is split in two, signalled by the use of bleak monochromatic tones in the second half of the film; a stark contrast to the vivid and bright colours, with a tinge of sepia, of the first half. As the magic begins to decay, so it appears does the colour.

I so wanted to fall in love with this film, and that was my first mistake. Not only was the storyline a hook, but director Michel Gondry (Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) was also a major thumbs up—if anyone was to film Boris Vian’s unfilmable cult novel this is the guy to do it. Not only this, but the two main roles are played by, perhaps my favourite, French darlings of film, Audrey Tautou (AmelieA Very Long Engagement) and Romain Duris (The Spanish ApartmentThe Beat My Heart Skipped). It was all a very, very massive hells yes! The film had everything going for it. But, I guess when you set yourself up to be swept away with such high expectations you’ve only yourself to blame when it falls flat.

The surrealistic opening scenes of the film were such a barrage of crazy it was dizzying— the accidental snipping off of an eyelid, eels popping in and out of faucets, crazy elongated-bendy-legged dancing, wayward canine brogues, the endearing musical plucking of sunbeams, the pianocktail (Colin’s delightful invention of a piano where every note struck is a different ingredient that goes into a cocktail—Clair de Lune would taste extraordinary with a hint of vanilla, don’t you think …?), and these are only the bits I can remember. The cinemotography was, of course, wonderful but the film is focused so much on making the scenes look so spectacular and mesmerising that the emotion and heartbreak we should feel plays second fiddle, the lonesome triangle, even.

I think this one’s going to require a few more viewings. I’m determined to fall in love with it.  You can’t force yourself to love something, you say? Tell that to my mum. Hahaha, kidding dad. (Not kidding …)

Mood Indigo receives, with a heavy heart, 2 ½ lungs of flowers out of 5.

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