Micmacs (2010)

Directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet
Written by Jean Pierre Jeunet & Guillaume Laurant

My presence at the screening of this film was entirely based on one of Jeunet’s other films, Amelie. Amelie has quickly become one of my favorite movies of all time simply based on the wonderful whimsical nature of the entire story. That film had the same director and writing team. The world created there was so great, I wanted to see what else they had in store. That being said, I had absolutely no idea what the plot was going to be or even who was in this film. Well it turns out I wouldn’t have recognized any of the names of the actors in Micmacs, but I can say that Dany Boon is now in my memory for future reference.

Dany Boon plays the lead here as Bazil. Bazil is a sad little kid who has seen his father killed by a landmine. He grows up to become a clerk at a video store and has the unfortunate luck to see a hit gone bad, which results is a bullet being lodged inside his head. When he returns to work after being in the hospital some time, he finds that the video store owner has given up his job and he must fend for himself in the streets as his landlord does the same thing as his boss. From there he gets picked up by a group of salvagers, the Micmacs as it were. These people are a strange bunch with various talents, and with these talents they help Bazil bring down the two arms dealers responsible for his, and his fathers, unfortunate luck.

I cannot comment on the politics of the film, of which I am sure there are some, but I can comment on the charm of the film. Like Amelie, all the little eccentricities of the characters are explored, which gives them such depth and you feel like you too are part of the Micmacs. The acting is very good, but none compare to Dany Boon, who like the director Jeunet, is able to express things simply through body language and facial expression. I think that is one of the major draws for me to Jeunet: his ability to tell the story not by words or dialogue necessarily, but by showing us images and stringing them together just the way he wants to.

The combo of the humorous with the serious nature of the vigilante plot is well balanced. One never feels as though it is outdone by the other and it is never handled in an awkward manner. Everything fits its place, as each Micmac has his/her place in the gang. Just spending time with these people was a pleasure and worth watching the film. It really is with the development and characterization of this group of essentially homeless people that the pure joy of the film is seen. Jeunet does it again. He is someone that I am definitely even more interested in now. And the same can be said for Dany Boon. If subtitles do not bother you, and they shouldn’t, I highly recommend catching this romp of a French film if you can.

***1/2 – Great

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