Review: Mood Indigo (2014) – Michel Gondry

moodindigo_poster_lowres__largeMOOD INDIGO: Directed by Michel Gondry

From IMDB: Wealthy, inventive bachelor Colin endeavors to find a cure for his lover Chloe after she’s diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs.

– The release of the film came out of nowhere.  All of a sudden it was available on iTunes and VOD.  Just from the poster and a quick glance at the trailer, it drew me in, and Michel Gondry is an interesting enough director to gain my interest.

– The only thing I knew about MOOD INDIGO before watching it was that it’s based on a novel.  From watching the film it seems like the novel would originally be thought of as something very hard to adapt into a movie.  I think Michel Gondry brought some very interesting ideas to the screen, showing off his ability to create and show different types of ideas.  There’s so many random and interesting ideas going on that you wouldn’t expect from a typical love story.

– There’s so much weirdness going on.  For a guy who isn’t really interested in fantasy-like stuff, some of it was just too much.  Maybe there’s a better explanation in the novel, but having a grown man dressed up as a mouse running around the house is not interesting and didn’t add anything to the film.  You know those scary adults in kids sing-a-long tapes?  That’s where this kind of ‘character’ belongs.  The ‘dog shoe’, ‘doorbell bug’, and ‘spinning handshakes’ all added some quirky ideas, but at times got repetitive.  The ‘bird headed human’ is in the same zone as the mouse…just too weird!  The issue I had with a lot of this stuff is that I think it took a lot of time and concentration away from the story and central characters, and in the end there’s no point to any of it.

– Colin (Romain Duris) took me a bit to get used to, but as I got further in the film, the more interested in the character I was.  After finding out that his two best friends have fallen in love, he realizes that he must do the same.  As much as they tried to convey the love Colin had for Chloe, it was hard to feel it as an audience member.  Watching Chloe get sick should have been tough to watch because of the sacrifices Colin had to make, but I didn’t feel as strongly about it as I would’ve wanted to.

– The opening act with Colin, the mouse man, and his two friends took me a bit by surprise because I didn’t realize what kind of style the film was going to have.  I was in complete shock to see a man dressed up as a mouse.  In fact, I was a little turned off by the whole film in the first 5 to 10 minutes.  The introduction to Chloe (Audrey Tautou) really brightened things up.  She has such a innocent and sweet look, which was perfect for this character.

– The biggest problem with the film is that Colin and Chloe’s relationship moves so fast.  There’s no time to get to know the two, even with a run-time of over two hours!  There’s too much added story with Colin’s friends, who aren’t likeable or interesting at all to begin with.  The scene of their first date was the best of the film, and it’s disappointing that there wasn’t more of that.

– The film looks great.  With the bright colours and different animation, it was definitely unique.  As the film moves along, the colour fades and fades which perfectly goes along with the moods of the characters.

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MOOD INDIGO was a hard film for me to process.  There’s so much that I loved about it, but so much I disliked.  I think the concentration on the supporting characters as well as the unique animation took something away from the central story of Colin and Chloe.   The inclusion of the ‘mouse man’ and other weirdness was just too much.  Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou had great chemistry together and the film could have been much more special if it was solely about their relationship.  The story of Colin and Chloe with the interesting visuals would have been enough to be a beautiful film, but unfortunately, even with the 2 hour run-time, I felt like I didn’t get to ‘know’ them as well as I wanted to.

MOOD INDIGO: 3/5

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