Thoughts on Micmacs

Saturday, June 26, 2010 4:28 PM By Simon

-If there's one thing I love, it's a ragtag bunch of misfits.

-Bazil (Danny Boon), whose father died thirty years ago while trying to dismantle a landmine, sending his mother into insanity and him into a repressive Catholic school (horror! Also, he escapes). As an adult, he works in a video store until a shootout sends a stray bullet into his poor cranium (let the 'he was dead the whole time' theories commence)

-Now making a day-to-day living as a street performer, miming and such, knowing he could die at any moment (the bullet is still lodged in there, you see, a fact Jeunet never lets you forget, giving this otherwise whimsical film an air of muted melancholy).

-While slumming about in front of a cafe, he is picked up by Slammer (Jean-Pierre Marielle), an ingenious salvager and con artist, brings him to the tire-larigot, a trash heap he inhabits with (yay!) a ragtag bunch of tirelessly cheerful and resourceful misfits. Naturally, they're all adorable.

-A twist of fate lets Bazil find the two separate arms dealers who made the landmine that blew up his father and the bullet that is lodged in his head (respectively). What follows, lets just call a parody of a caper for revenge.

-The definition of 'style over substance', the characters are never really fleshed out, the tone too tongue-in-cheek to take itself seriously (in one instance, you see Bazil and Slammer riding a scooter down a highway, passing a billboard for the film itself, featuring the exact still of the two at that exact time), and yet, it gets by on its too-quirky-to-not-love sense of humor, never really making your guffaw, but sort of warms your heart.

-The villains, appropriately, never really seem like a threat. There's some borderline-uneasiness in some gunplay scenes, but there isn't any real tension.

-Parent, in one of their few moments of accidental cinematic critical genius, commented 'I would've liked that better if it was silent'. Indeed, the entire thing relies on physical comedy and rich, gorgeous visuals. There are some moments where the dialogue is the best part--the character of Remington (Omar Sy), a former ethnographer from the Congo (Republic of) speaks entirely in French proverbs, in what I guess might be an accent, but different language, I couldn't really tell.

-Calculette (Marie-Julie Baup) is adorable.

-Like, I seriously want to chill with these guys. They are that awesome.

-I am proud to announce that, without sibtitles (to which these had excellent ones), I might've understood 1/4 of this movie. No applause, please, I'm just a regular gal like you...


D Swizzle said...

Ummm try 1/8. But I get your point.

June 26, 2010 at 10:04 PM
Simon said...

Hey, Danielle, remind me, what was your grade in French this year?

I, too, get your point.

June 26, 2010 at 10:13 PM
Phoenix said...

I really enjoyed this movie. Not as much character depth as Amelie (and definitely not as awe-inspiring or heart-warming) but for what it was, it was very cute and I loved the main character and his romance.

I was charmed, and that's enough for me :)

June 29, 2010 at 2:54 PM