Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movie Review- Mimacs

Alright so this movie came out back in 2009, but it wasn't available to rent on Netflix until very recently which is why it's taken me this long to get around watching it. I couldn't wait to watch brilliant filmmaker's Jean-Pierre Jeunet's newest film Mimacs because I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Amelie. Who doesn't love his 2001 quirky romantic comedy starring the talented and beautiful Audrey Tautou? I was hoping Mimacs would be a good follow up so I had high hopes when I slipped it into my DVD player. So does Jeunet's latest film match up with his previous ones?

Well I had the problem of constantly comparing it to Amelie in the first 20-30 minutes of the film. I figured this was going to happen but it was making me nervous sometime at the 30 minute mark. The good thing is, soon after that Mimiacs began to take on a life of it's own for me and I was highly engrossed for the next hour and a half. So the film is about a man named Bazil and it opens with his childhood (like in Amelie...gah! I need to stop that) when his father is killed in a freak accident when he steps on a land mind. Soon after that, we fast forward 30 years and we find Bazil working in a video rental shop in Paris. One night, a shootout ensues outside of the shop and Bazil gets shot in the head by a stray bullet. Bazil's surgeon decide there would be better to leave the bullet in his brain; however, Bazil could drop dead at any second. By the time Bazil gets out of the hospital, he is homeless and has lost his job. Rendered homeless, he is picked up by a man named Slammer who takes him to his "family" who agree to "adopt" him.

Slammer's "family" consists of a group of outcasts that live in (or under?) a junk yard. They family is a bit like a Ocean's 11 type of group, where each person has a special talent. There is Elastic Girl who's a contortionist, Mama Chow who is the cook and mom figure, Remington who's a former Ethnographer, Buster, the human canonball, Calculator, a girl that can calculate things perfectly, and Tiny Pete, a man who creates moving sculptures out of the salvaged trash. After being accepted in the family, Bazil goes out to gather trash one day when he discoveres two office building located across the street from each other. One is the arms manufacturer that created the mine that killed his father, and the other is the manufacturer that created the bullet that's lodged in his brain. One is owned by Nicolas Thibault De Fenouillet and the other is owned by Fran├žois Marconi. He attempts to speak with De Fenouillet but gets thrown out of the building. He then gets into the building across the street only to hear a grim speech by Marconi. Afterwards, Bazil decides to take on a ploy to make both their lives hell. Bazil, with the help from his family and their special talents, is able to get the two arm's manufacturer to declare war on each other by interfering with an arms deal with an African dictator. With the two men up in arms over each other, Bazil and Co. continue reeking havoc on the men leaving each to believe the opposing party is responsible for it.

Jeunet explained this film as a "satire on the world's arm trade." That pretty much sums it up. The entire movie is a satire and a really charming one at that. Everything that happened in the movie was completely improbable, yet it was a humorous look on the weapons manufacturing industry. I loved all the characters that played a part in bringing down these two arms traders. This odd cast of characters added to the whimsical tone to which the film alluded. Jeunet certainly knows how to create quirky characters, and he doesn't fail to match up in Mimacs. Even though Mimacs dealt with a pretty serious topic, it is executed into a cheerful delight of a film. It certainly had me smiling til the end.

This is very much a feel good film like Amelie, however, I have heard quite a few complaints about the movie trying to be too cute. I certainly didn't have a problem with the cutesieness of the movie, but if you're not familiar with Jeunet's style, you may think the movie is trying to hard. I personally thought the movie was colorful and vibrant and was everything I was looking for in a film from Jeunet. I was saddened when I learned that Audrey Tautou was suppose to have a cameo in it but was unable to do so due to scheduling conflicts. Orginally, there was to be a scene where Bazil lowers a microphone in a chimney and finds Amelie and Nino in the apartment with several crying children. Oh well, maybe in his next film?

Final Score- 9/10

No comments:

Post a Comment