OK. A bash at writing a film review. Hopefully I’ll improve over time.
Great film. Having been exposed to the mysteries wrought by sleep blurring into waking states (side of effect of me heart medication, will explain in another post), I can state that Michel Gondry has this one all wrapped up. Except I never see crushed velvet horses… or cars made of toilet rolls.
The overall intent of the film seems to be an attempt to charm the audience with a protagonist who’s at heart a confused boy who never really connects with the real world. He’s an artist who meets a kindred soul, and sets out to win her heart. Clumsily. (spoilers past the jump)
The main hurdle is that ‘Stephan’ has a playful childishness that Gael Garcia Bernal sometimes drags into outright petulance, and which plays into a kind of continual frustration as he fails to distinguish between ‘real world’ and ‘dreamscape’.
We’re left assuming that the intent is to deliberately blur the two, and Gondry seems to manage it without upsetting the balance in the story. Unfortunately, having done so, Gondry then provides a story that has no real conclusion. When the critical moment arrives in which Stephan is to perhaps finally connect with Stephanie, we’re left with a confused ending in which Stephan finally appears alternately too immature, or just plain crazy.
For that reason I found the ending kind of annoying. Would they ever get together? Probably not. After all, while Stephan thinks he needs a girlfriend/wife, what he really needs is a friend he can understand, and who can understand his particular delirium.
The only impression I take away from the film is that Gondry has provided a small insight into some of the more unusual characters you might see around town, which in itself isn’t a bad thing.
All that said, the SFX are pretty fantastic in a Lo-Fi kind of way, both accentuating the charm, and proving once again that CGI is both unnecessary and over-utilised in the current batch of films. I’ll recommend this one.