‘Mood Indigo’ — NO TOFU

Originally published at NO TOFU

Much like Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry’s films seem to exist in world both familiar and distinctively unique. His latest, Mood Indigo, uses his trademark style to explore themes of love, loss and desperation. The juxtaposition of the heavy plot and Gondry’s fantasy-laced storytelling results in a film that is both touching and ultimately not weighed down by its significantly dark story.

The film opens with the meet-cute of Colin and Chloe, played by Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou. The two fall in love, and along with three friends have a carefree and fun lifestyle complemented by the film’s 1960s visuals. Early on viewers are informed that Colin is wealthy enough to live comfortably without working, but when Chloe falls ill and Colin’s generosity gets the better of him the newlyweds struggle to make ends meet. The picturesque days of skating and shopping quickly end, and the fairytale world Gondry created for his characters to live in begins to unravel.

As the cheery brightness of Colin and Chloe begins to fade under the weight of all-too-real pressures, the viewer can’t help but assume things will turn around for them. Surely Gondry will not leave these good, beautiful people to wither like the water lily in Chloe’s chest. But as the cobwebs creep across the windows and the friendly mouse is unable to keep the grime off the glass, the colorful and vibrant world Colin and Chloe once knew becomes more and more distant, until the entire illusion collapses.

Duris and Tautou are both delightful, and the supporting cast complements them perfectly. Although early on the gadgets and sight-gags dominate the screen to the point of being distracting, the plot quickly takes center stage and Gondry’s imaginative creations blend seamlessly into the background. Mood Indigo may begin as an homage to classic romance reimagined through Gondry’s felt-and-personified-gizmo form, but the ease and rapidity with which best intentions can crumble grounds the film in stark reality.

Mood Indigo is in theatres now.

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