Review: ‘Mood Indigo’ (M) ****

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FROM Boris Vian’s novel “L’Écume des jours”, Writer/director Michel Gondry has devised a film blessed with charm, beauty, quirkiness, fantasy, love, existentialism, invention, surrealism.

The French title translates as “Foam of Days”. Make of that what you will, but not without first seeing the film. There is a brief homage to Duke Ellington, whose song “Mood Indigo” is a classic. I listened for it in vain. No matter. Gondry tells the story of playboy Colin’s (Romain Duris) love for Chloe (Audrey Tautou) whose life is threatened by a water lily growing inside her chest.

The film’s visual values are simply stunning (a description capable equally of two interpretations). Designer Stephane Rozenbaum brings delicious humour to every theme – food, book production, birds, mice, aerial views of Paris, internal examination of Chloe’s body.

If you saw “The Intouchables”, you will remember African actor Omar Sy. In “Mood Indigo”, playing Colin’s lawyer, chef, chauffeur and good friend, he’s a delight to watch. In an oblique visual homage, he prepares an eel for the lunch table in Salvador Dali style. Phillipe Torreton plays philosopher Jean-Sol Partre; no prize for guessing to whom that allusion refers.

The film offers myriad touches like these. Presenting a gently compelling narrative of Chloe and Colin dealing with emotionally-draining issues, it has unexpected power.

 At Capitol 6 and Palace Electric

 

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Dougal Macdonald
“CityNews” film reviewer

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