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Mood Indigo DVD Review

Mood Indigo DVD Review

mood-indigo-posterGenre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Directed by: Michel Gondry 

Starring: Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaleh

Mood Indigo begins in a printing room where many typewriters move down a conveyer belt lined with typists, each of whom repetitively type out the same single sentence over and over. Soon after we see a man playing a piano that mixes cocktails based on the notes you play. Later still we watch as a couple takes a ride in a cloud car over the Parisian skyline. And in the final moments we follow a humanoid mouse as he ups sticks and leaves his current dwellings in search of someplace new.

From beginning to end, there’s never any doubt that Mood Indigo is a Michel Gondry film. With vibrant colours, lively animations, and charmingly surreal settings, Gondry once more constructs an audacious slice of whimsy cake with a sweet sugar icing and gooey jam filled middle. It’s hard to resist taking a bite, but like all of the most visually stunning cakes, Mood Indigo is a sickly temptation more than a tasty treat.

In amongst its barrage of visual eccentricity is a well-told story of a couple whose relationship is gradually falling apart at the seams. It’s based on the novel ‘Froth on the Daydream’ by Boris Vian, which Gondry has adapted with the help of screenwriter Luc Bossi. When we first meet Colin (Romain Duris), he’s a rich and successful bachelor in search of love. And upon meeting Chloe (Audrey Tautou), it looks as if his life may finally be complete. But once Chloe is diagnosed with an illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs, their relationship begins to gradually deteriorate.
mood-indigoIt really is as bizarre as it sounds. And yet thanks to the brilliant central performances from Duris and Tautou, it just about manages to work. Their rich performances hold our attention throughout. Duris in particular is captivating as Colin, who grows from a shy singleton desperate to impress the girl of his dreams, to love-struck husband despairingly trying to make ends meet in order to support his wife as her condition slowly worsens.

From behind the camera, Gondry once more proves himself to be one of the most aesthetically astonishing directors working today. His use of colour effortlessly beguiles the viewer, gradually shifting from a sumptuously bright pallet to an altogether more sad and shaded one as Chloe’s illness begins to take hold. He continues to dazzle us with gorgeous patchwork effects, which instills the film with an otherworldly ambiance that intricately balances with the very real human emotions being felt at the film’s core.

Gondry’s problem is that his wondrous style regularly outweighs and detracts from the substance of his story in much of a similar vein to The Science of Sleep & Be Kind Rewind. Despite the assured performances, this is an attempted deconstruction of relationships that’s hindered by a bombardment of distracting and absurd imaginative flairs that slowly but surely sours the pace. Leaving your mood a bluer, more disappointed colour than the title promises.

★★★

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