Micmacs a tire-larigot

Micmacs a tire-larigot

 

(June 29, 2009-Cinema City)

 

I missed this title at the Tribeca Film Festival so I was very pleased to see that it was getting a theatrical release so that I could catch up with it. And I did. And I can say that it is beautiful, much better than the “stylistically” shoddy video compositions of “Please Give,” which I partook of earlier in the night. The compositions are at times miraculous; the colors pop and become art. The camera moves are intricate and remind one of when Luc Besson used to actually make films.

 I can also say that it is very weird. Of course it would be. This is the new flick from Jean-Pierre Jeunet. He’s the dude that weirded-up the Alien franchise with “Alien Resurrection” and also directed the much loved “Amelie” and the cult classic “The City of Lost Children,” of which this most reminds me.

I suppose you want to know the plot. Ok, fine. In 1979 a man is blown up by stray landmine. That man’s son is Bazil (Dany Boon), who as a boy we see escaping his orphan-type lifestyle in a suitcase. He winds up working at a video store at night. On one such night, a motorcycle gun chase occurs (these things happen all the time) and he takes a stray bullet to the head. He lives…with the bullet in his head.

And then he tries to resume his life…but life has moved on. He no longer has his job or his apartment. When leaving the video store, a girl (the new clerk) comes up to him. Her boyfriend may have been involved in the motorcycle deal. She gives him a bullet casing.

Hmm…interesting…is this going to be some kind of mystery or revenge film…well, yes, but not how you think. Because perhaps “Micmacs” is a message movie. Bazil is not concerned with the man who put the bullet in his brain, but he sets out his revenge against the manufacturers of the weapons that have caused his life such distress.

Since his pops got blowed up in a landmine, one can argue that bullet is an excuse for a cool scene as well as a motivating plot point for a man taking revenge on his fathers murder. And I can go with that.

You might think the story is already weird enough. But, it hasn’t even started getting there. Wait until you see the crew that Bazil recruits to help him achieve his goal.

But back to the look of the film…because that is its true star…it opens with a credits sequence that is a throwback to the Bogey movie Bazil is watching pre-credits. This is a movie for film lovers. Its plot is a distant second. Jeunet creates Bazil as an obvious lover of cinema (particularly American noir) and maybe that bullet in his brain has caused him to believe he is in his own film. So Jeunet will accommodate, making an overtly stylistic movie. It is a nice touch that often times Bazil is seen mouthing the script he has written for his players. In a scene-stealing performance, one of his co-conspirators is a “novelist” who seems to be only able to mix up sayings, which he incorporates into Bazil’s “script,” much to his chagrin.

So it is beautiful, first and foremost. So if you are going to see it, see it in a theatre please…and on film!

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