REVIEW — “Mood Indigo”
The French have a penchant for producing very quirky, artistically unique fantasies. Occasionally the quirkiness can overpower the narrative, a line “Mood Indigo” skirts before redeeming itself in the second half.
Known for the amazing “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and the dismal “Green Hornet”, this is Director/Writer Michel Gondry’s most surreal movie to date. (Which is really something considering the dream sequences in “Eternal Sunshine”) The opening moments of the film are somewhat hard to watch, jam packed with so much stop-motion animation and other random special effects it’s disorienting. Everything is constantly in motion and unwieldy Rube Goldberg devices make up the modern appliances. Words cannot fully convey the amount of visual madness we are assaulted with in the first 15 minutes. Fortunately the story quickly picks up, the insanity is dialed down a bit, and we begin to see the movie for what it is: A tale of relationships from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows portrayed as if we were witnessing someone’s dream.
Colin (Romain Duris) is a wealthy, single man, apparently enjoying life to the fullest. His friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) reveals that he has met a woman and Colin begins hoping that he will find love himself. Soon he is introduced to the lovely Chloé (Audrey Tautou) and they quickly fall in love and get married. The fantastical nature of the movie does an excellent job of portraying how newlyweds view the world through rainbow colored glasses. But as the realities of married life begin to invade their world, the tone of the film changes as well. Colors become muted, the magic fades from everyday objects. Soon illness and debt take their toll on the married couple and their friends. Not even the truest of loves can conquer all that life serves up.
Although it can be a little difficult to swallow at first, once you give into the dreamlike narrative it is quite engaging. This fanciful style is very adept at portraying the fears and darkness that can seep into a marriage. The transition from a wonderful dream to a nightmare delivers an emotional punch in the gut.
4 out of 5 Stars