★★★ | Mood Indigo

Have you ever want to like something so much, looked forward to seeing something so much, eager with anticipation?

And then it happens and its, umm, well, it’s, not quite what you thought or expected?

A film that includes the inimitable Amelie actress Audrey Tautou and the quirky actor from Populaire, Romain Duris, and has a storyline that reads like a William Burroughs script, and I really expected something kooky, something off the wall?

I’d read about it before it came out – in itself a long protracted event as it seemed to take forever to get a UK cinema release. Based on a popular French novel by Boris Vian, it takes place in a fantasy version of Paris, where cars fly, pianos make cocktails and people stretch whilst skating – and not just their muscles!

I hate to spoil the stories when doing a review of a film or DVD, so I won’t go into details on this score apart from the well-publicised basics – boy meets girl, falls in love, marry and then girl becomes seriously ill as a flower starts to grow in her lung… as it does.

The boy then has to use all available funds to buy a flower to help heal his girl and takes all sorts of odd jobs to fund this. The rest is available on the DVD for you to watch.

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One word used a lot in reviews and write ups on this film is “whimsy” and it’s a great word to sum this up – it is whimsical in the extreme but it lacks some of the finesse of either Amelie and Populaire – though both actors and the rest of the cast and crew give it their all and do a good job.

The director is responsible for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Be Kind, Rewind and it kind of shows, the story takes all kind of twists and turns, but the special effects are not up to the expected level and seem amateurish and at times awkward. The story doesn’t follow the normal narrative trail but seems to waver as it moves towards its end.

I didn’t hate this film, how could you? But I didn’t love it and ended feeling disappointed and a little let down. Whether this is down to me and my high expectations or the film and its production, I’m not sure… As always, I’d urge you to watch and decide for yourself. I do think its worth watching, but don’t expect the usual Tautou or Duris fair….

I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars, I wish it was more