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Saturday, August 16, 2014

GeekRex Quick Take: Mood Indigo

The Buzz: We haven't seen anything really notable from experimental filmmaker Michel Gondry since perhaps his 1/3 of Tokyo! in 2008 (depending on your opinion on Green Hornet), and this is a full-on French movie, with Audrey Tatou and Romain Duris. When he pulls off his bizarre, practical-effects laden style and uses it in support of a great story–like he did on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–the results are spectacularly singular and eminently re-watchable.

What's Great About This Movie: The style, my god. This is the most Michel Gondry-like Michel Gondry movie; the experimentation is taken to the extreme in a magical world where for a few coins you can be flown anywhere in the city in a cloud, where you can play a 'pianocktail' (a piano that produces a cocktail based on the notes you play), and where love is paramount. From the opening scene with hundreds of people typing on moving typewriters in a weird sort of assembly line to the very end, you'll be absolutely awestruck by the sheer imagination and fun of it all.

What's Not-So-Great About this Movie: On the flip side, that style takes over, and unfortunately the story is extremely thin for it. The ideas are bountiful, but don't necessarily add up to any kind of cohesive theme. The story of two young people falling in love and struggling through tragedy is simple–and there's nothing wrong with that–but there isn't a whole lot else there to ruminate about besides the visual feast.
Final Verdict: It's definitely worth a watch for how wonderfully inventive it is, but Gondry didn't quite strike the right balance between form and content with this one for it to have a lasting impression.
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