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Micmacs
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Micmacs – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Bazil’s (Dany Boon) father was killed by a landmine when he was a little boy. Decades later, at a street shoot-out, a bullet flies through his shop’s window, pierces his skull and lodges in his brain.

To save his life, the doctor has to leave the bullet inside his head, but there’s a risk that it could kill him at any moment. When he is discharges from hospital, he finds his house and job have been taken away in his absence.
He wanders the streets, cold and hungry, begging, until he meets Slammer (Jean-Pierre Marielle), who introduces him to a group of misfits, living in a cave beneath a salvage yard. Each member of the group possesses a special talent: Mama Chow (Yolande Moreau) is the cook; Elastic Girl (Julie Ferrier) contorts herself into the tightest confines; Calculator (Marie-Julie Baup) measures anything by glancing at it, Remington (Omar Sy) is the typist, Buster (Dominique Pinon) is a record breaker, Tiny Pete (Michel Cremades) creates automated sculptures. They repair and recycle trash into toys, art and new machines.

When Bazil identifies the manufacturers of the bullet inside his head and the landmine that killed his father, he recruits his new friends to carry out his revenge. The talent of each one of this eccentric group shines as they scheme and act an ingenious campaign against the two heads of the death companies. They infiltrate their offices and homes, incinerate their cars, blow up their factories and offices, sabotage their arm deals, cheat them out of their money and ultimately lead them to utter destruction.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

“Micmacs” is yet another magical journey from the French master Jean-Pierre Jeunet. As in his previous masterpieces, “Amelie”, “Delicatessen” and “A Very Long Engagement”, this film has the technical virtuosity, visual magic, and mathematical precision that have become hallmarks of his work.

The film recalls the olden days of silent movies, with references to Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Jeunet eschews words and employs ingenious visual tricks to create mirthful cause and effect gags and fateful incidents that propel the story forward. He crafts every frame with mathematical precision and packs them with psychic irregularities and weird objects, and then seizes every opportunity to surprise and delight us with happy accidents that only his wild mind can conjure up. He also utilises extreme wide lenses to enhance the comedic and dramatic effect of these incidents.

Of course, Micmacs wouldn’t work without the outstanding performances of the actors. The French comedian, Boon, captivates us as he smoulders into Bazil’s gentle and clumsy character. Ferrier does an impressive job bending backwards, literally and figuratively, as the Elastic girl character, to help Bazil and falls in love with him. The rest of the performances are equally strong and jibe harmoniously with the intricate visuals.

There is a profound message behind the blithesome facade of this film. It’s a story of the small guys taking on the big ones and ultimately defeating them by using creative tricks, second hand objects and the internet. It feels like a campaign against weapon manufacturing, and it works. We deeply empathise with and root for Bazil as he wreaks havoc on the makers of these weapons. After all, there are millions like Bazil, who have been maimed, orphaned, windowed, impoverished and ruined by them.

Micmacs is a masterpiece of visual poetry and technical virtuosity, with a solid script, fascinating characters, thrilling action, captivating performances and an exhilarating score. Jean-Pierre Jeunet creates magic from reality, beauty from trash and order from chaos. This film reasserts his status as a genius of cinema with an untamed imagination and unbounded talent.

Opens nationwide 25th February 2010

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