Mood Indigo – Possibly the most whimsically beautiful film I’ve ever seen
Written by: Michel Gondry and Luc Bossi (Screenplay) and Boris Vian (Novel)
Directed by: Michel Gondry
Michel Gondry has always made films that are imaginative, dreamlike worlds into which a tragic situation is injected. Well, take all three of those characteristics and magnify by them by ten and you have his latest film “Mood Indigo”. It takes place in a world (also in a Paris to be more precise) where everything is straight out of a dream you might have had as a child after reading about a dozen Dr. Seuss books and then watching “Alice in Wonderland” before bed. There are living, insect-like doorbells that scatter off the wall when a guest arrives, a piano that creates complex cocktails when you play it, and instead of GPS there is GPM (yep you guessed it… global positioning mouse… Yes… mouse).
Colin (Duris) is a bachelor and the inventor of many of the strange contraptions you see in this world. More than anything though he wants to fall in love. Then he is introduced to Chloe (Tautou). He is immediately head over heels and takes her on a first date that features a cloud car that takes them on a magical ride through Paris. Suddenly, not only are we in this magnificent alternate reality, but we ride along on cloud nine with the two of them as they share witty, humorous conversations and tender embraces. Everything is magical and perfect, but slowly a sense of childlike fear creeps up on you as you watch a single snow flake go into Chloe’s mouth as she sleeps, and start to do something to her lung. Colin will do everything he can to save his love, but will it be enough?
The whole cast is amazing, and even Gondry himself makes a fun appearance as a quirky doctor. The stars of the film for me though were Gondry’s imagination and visual mastery and Ms. Tautou. The world fell in love with her in “Amelie” back in 2001, and 13 years later she is every bit as graceful and heart melting as she was then. She is in complete command of the screen every second that she is on it, and you can’t help but become emotionally attached to Chloe.
In the midst of Gondry’s spectacular world and beneath the moving love story, there is another message I got. One that touches on what it is like when someone you truly love is dying from a terminal illness. The orchid that grows in Chloe’s lung makes her health worse and worse, Colin spends all of their money trying to fix her and make her healthy again, and their home and bodies deteriorate rapidly in the face of what may be to come. Everyone around them tries to help even at the cost of their own well being, and the strangth and resolve of real love is showcased. It is tragedy done in a heartfelt, beautiful way. Truly you will feel every emotion while watching “Mood Indigo”… And I suggest you do.