Saturday, July 10, 2010

Micmacs (2010)


Bazil (Danny Boon), and his rag tag "family" of colorful homeless, team up to get revenge on the manufacturing companies that lead to the death of his father, and the bullet in his head.

Like a calculating magician Jean-Pierre Jeunet crafts a film with an amazing amount of visual allure, and misdirection. Not so much misdirection from some grand secret behind it all, but more so to hide the film's rather blatant narrative flaws. Though by taking the time to deliver such an enviable array of charm, you'll likely find you don't really care at all.

Micmacs, much in the same vein as Amelie, presents us with a collection of misfit characters, each with a wide array of particular quirks, brought together through happenstance. Apart they're weak, fragile, and likely to be taken apart by society, but combined they are as powerful a force as any. And to his credit, Jeunet spins one amazing collection of characters together.

Unfortunately, unlike Amelie, Jeunet lacks the plots to really bring them together. Rushed villain, and backstory, development, Micmacs quickly becomes more about the odd situations our motley crew put themselves into. Amusing without a doubt, but at times seemingly meaningless. Without the strength to really tie down our character relationships.

Their reasons become rather void, and as such I couldn't help but feel a bit unsatisfied with their intergroup dynamic. Sure, it's designed to put a smile on your face, and it most certainly does that. But I wanted more heart, connection, emotional attachment. Where instead I get amusing predicaments, and silly antics.

Though with such a big smile on my face, I find it hard to fault the film too greatly. Sure I wanted more, but I enjoyed what I got with great extent. That level of charm exudes from every scene, shot, and presents the viewer with just a lovely time.

Saved by its colorful characters, and captivating style, Micmacs is an enjoyable couple of hours of entertainment. Void of real depth however, it may struggle to resonate among viewers who are unimpressed with quirky antics, and over the top situations, and outcomes.

10 better thoughts:

Rick "The Hat" Bman said...

I really enjoyed this one. To me, it kind of felt like "Yojimbo by way of Amelie." It had the quirky Jean-Pierre Jeunet feeling to it but the plot seemed like almost an homage to Yojimbo. Pitting two rival gangs (in this case Arms Manufacturers) against each other in an attempt to get rid of them both.

I have really enjoyed every Jeunet has done and this was no exception.

DEZMOND said...

I'm one of the few people who wasn't overly amazed by AMELIE (didn't like the script totally and Audrey), but I enjoyed Jeunet's older movies THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, and especially DELICATESSEN. A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT was a flop for me personally, although it was visually striking, and MICMACS were great fun, although I agree with you that that the film is charming for being so unusual and European and not for the story itself.

The Mad Hatter said...

I'd have thought with this film being a nifty alternative to the crap we've been getting served this summer would get it a few more points on the Univarn Scale of Awesome.

Guess we're not grading on a curve, eh?

Univarn said...

@Rick awesome analogy, ashamed I didn't think of that myself.

@Dezmond I absolutely love Amelie, but I quite enjoy everything he's done thus far. Still need to see Delicatessen.

@Mad Unfortunately the Uni scale of Awesome never curves.... but I feel this year it could be snapped in two. :\

Alex said...

This is basically exactly how I felt about the film, so I say great review!

SugaryCynic said...

I hate South Florida. This isn't playing ANYWHERE

Simon said...

I loved this movie. So delightful, I don't care it's without substance.

Univarn said...

@Alex Thanks!

@Sugary NC used to be that way, but an old theater nobody went to recently got purchased and shows a couple foreign/indie films a week. This just happened to be one. Keep digging!

@Simon Glad you enjoyed it so much!

CMrok93 said...

Sometimes the French wit becomes a bit too much for me.

neetu said...

Great review! I'd have thought with this film being a boring alternative to the crap we've been getting served this summer. But I have really enjoyed this movie and this was no exception. The Crazies Photo

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