Mood Indigo: Blu Ray Review
Released by Vendetta Films
L'ecume des Jours is the latest from acclaimed video director Michel Gondry whose distinctive visual style has its lovers and its haters. Starring Romain Duris as Colin, it's the story of his doomed romance with Audrey Tautou's Chloe. Colin is desperate to meet the love of his life as all his friends are loved up; he loves the food from his cook, whom he lives with (Intouchables' Omar Sy) and his friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh) has also found someone. As he intones: "I demand to fall in love too".
So, when Colin goes to a party and falls head over heels with Audrey Tautou's Chloe, their whirlwind romance kicks in. But problems develop on the honeymoon when Chloe falls sick after inhaling a waterlily seed which grows on her lung - and the romance begins to wither for Chick too.
Initially, Mood Indigo is hardly about plot and more about visuals as it brings the 1947 novel Froth on the Daydream to the screen. In fact, to start off with, it's all too much of a quirkiness overload as all kinds of visuals jump around the place in a manner similar to Peter Gabriel's iconic music video Sledgehammer. Fruit moves all over the place in stop motion frames, and the screen creaks with visual overload as Gondry piles layer upon layer upon layer of quirk - a doorbell rings but instead of staying motionless, it sprouts legs and scuttles like a beetle around the doorframe; a piano when played spouts cocktails as well as notes, there's just no stopping to the endless assault on the eyeballs.
In fact, the initial overload is nearly all too much and quite off putting as the world around Colin begins to grow, but you become accustomed to it or mentally check out. Those who endure the film and its rather free-forming narrative will be rewarded in parts with a tragedy but also a film which frustrates as it attempts to fulfil. The current release has lost 35 minutes from the film festival release, and while there's some discussion among critics as to whether that's any better, the latest cut of Michel Gondry's Mood Indigo feels a lot like two tonally different films harshly jammed together. Mood Indigo starts out bright, breezy and colourful but as the romance between Colin et Chloe starts to flounder, the colour of the film drains, and a reeking decay settles literally and metaphorically over it. The narrative and threads appear to end abruptly and characters suffer fates which materialise out of left-field and leave you feeling cheated as it heads towards its end.
While Mood Indigo, with its quirky visual symphony, is really a film of two halves. Neither are terrible and both have their merits. If anything, this version of Mood Indigo, with its cuts imposed for reasons unknown, represents a tantalising peek into a piece which is surreal, nonsensical and utterly original.