Film Review: Micmacs (2010)

8 Apr

Some video store clerks (think Quentin Tarantino) spend all their time watching cult exploitation and horror films, but our hero Bazil (Dany Boon) is quite content to watch the Howard Hawks’ Bogie and Bacall classic THE BIG SLEEP over and over again, intoning the (dubbed) dialogue along with the two legendary leads. That is until he goes outside to investigate a shooting and ends up with a stray bullet lodged in his head.

On the toss of a coin, the surgical operating team leave the offending projectile where it landed, although he could die at any time. Finding himself homeless and jobless Bazil falls in with a motley crew of eccentrics who ultimately help him bring about the downfall of the huge arms company who manufactured the slug nestling uncomfortably next to his brain.

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has lovingly crafted a truly wonderful Parisian fable which, although light on dialogue, is a showcase for a series of truly inspired set pieces and sight gags which propel the story to its ingenious and explosive climax. Along the way we meet the rubber-limbed contortionist Elastic Girl who can bend over backwards to fit into the fridge, Remington the writer who’s fond of the odd cliché or three, and human cannonball Buster who once appeared in the Guinness Book of Records.

No written review can quite do justice to the visual imagination up on the big screen, along with a lush music score incorporating some vintage Max Steiner and a couple of saw players. If you’re of fan of Jeunet’s (AMELIE, ALIEN RESURRECTION, THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, DELICATTESSEN etc) and enjoy the crazy combination of slapstick, mime and mayhem then you’ll need no encouragement, but if not please take my word that MICMACS is a real treat.

Cinq etoiles!

MIKE CHILDS

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