I knew a juggler once. For a time, I looked up to him — he commanded every social situation, using an array of gags and parlor tricks to hold court. And he was amusing and fun to be around ... for a time. As I grew to know him better, though, I began to see how he was at heart an insecure, vapid individual. His bag of tricks was merely a ruse to distract the people around him from his hollow interior. And his tricks became increasingly less amusing. ... In fact, I began to feel that I was being held hostage by them and his presence. What was once a clever brand of whimsy suddenly became a tedious, mindless bore, and I soon found myself avoiding this person at any cost.
Such is the cinema of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, a crafter of undeniably ornate and intricate Fabergé eggs such as Amélie and The City of Lost Children — all fanciful eccentricities on the exterior, yet completely empty inside.
With his latest, Micmacs, Jeunet breezes through the first 10 minutes to construct a flimsy revenge narrative: Bazil (Dany Boon) is a lonely but content video-store clerk who one day catches a non-fatal stray bullet to the skull from a nearby shootout. Since he lost his father to a landmine as a child, Bazil takes the same sensible action that any rational person would — he plots an elaborate war of pranks against the entire arms industry using a ragtag gang of lovable homeless eccentrics with special skills like contortion and human-cannonballing. What follows are 95 nauseating minutes of sugar-coated hijinks and attention-deficit gags involving Bazil and his new family of circus performers. The evil straw men of the weapons industry get their due in the end, and Bazil even finds convenient love in the process.
Given his penchant to forgo substance, character and narrative in favor of pandering to an audience's willingness to be awed, in many ways Jeunet is the Michael Bay of the arthouse set. He replaces the big explosions with precious twee trickery, to be sure, but he maintains the same sense of gee-whiz escapism and spectacle at the expense of thought and feeling.
That's not to say there isn't an appropriate audience out there for Micmacs, but sadly the minds best suited for Jeunet's gimmickry are not yet developed enough to read the subtitles. Parents of French-speaking toddlers may want to take note, however.
If the greatest pleasure of the movie is seeing "DiCaprio be beautiful again", something about…
worth reading on the subject: an interview with Kubrik assistant and friend.
But an outstanding, penetrating comment!
On the contrary: I can't imagine anybody watching ROOM 237 and *not* wanting to see…
This is worth seeing for any fan(atic) of "The Shining", but the film "Making The…