Saturday, August 7, 2010

Movie Review: Micmacs

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It was one of those weekends again. In theaters was Will Ferrell playing another man boy (at least it looked like it via the previews) or a 3D dance movie. From what I understand, at least the 3D movie was filmed in 3D and not post processed. But I digress. In either case, I wasn't interested in those movies so I looked to the art cinema for something and found something I did! From french director Jean-Pierre Jeunet Micmacs was one of the selections available. The film had played on the film festival circuit starting back in 2009 and had a limited release that began on May 28, 2010.

Well, it made its way to Honolulu for the first weekend in August. Even though it was one of those films where you have to read the words at the bottom of the screen, it was a refreshingly quirky and different kind of film.

The film starts out in the desert. We see a team attempting to clear landmines. It was unsuccessful. During the funeral the property of the dead man is delivered and as the wife gives a blank stare over the open package, the son grabs a packet out of the box and runs to his room. The packet contains crime scene photos where he sees a logo on the land mine remains. Flash forward 30 years and see the boy now a man observing a shooting by his work place. Unfortunately, wrong place and wrong time. He ends up getting shot in the head.

Of course this changes Bazil's (Dany Boon) life. At this point the original french title of Micmacs a tire-larigot comes into play. There is no direct translation but it's something along the lines of non-stop or a lot of shenanigans. After coming out of the hospital with the bullet still embedded in his head, Bazil no longer has a job or home and is adopted into an eclectic "family" who go around Paris, collect junk and recycle them into useful or possibly re-purposed objects. After Bazil discovers the manufacturers of the land mine and bullet that affected his life, he decides to do something about it. The family joins in with a "they all do it together or he doesn't do it at all" attitude.

The movie makes a point about arms dealers. We've seen some of it before but the way that it's brought forth in this movie is more lighthearted and almost whimsical fashion. People would like to see the end of war, expect for the arms dealers. If there was no war and fighting and conflict, these companies wouldn't be in business and making money. Jeunet brings us some of the atrocities of war and slams our head against the wall with the point but at the same times gives us this nice soft fluffy pillow to make the slam comfortable enough that you almost wanted to ask for another one.

You could say that war was declared on the war makers. Each member of the family adds their talents to the plan to bring down the companies involved in making arms. I'm not going to get into the skills or give away the names, that was part of the enjoyment of the film, discovering who these people are. Calling them misfits would be wrong. They are square pegs who instead of trying to fit into a round hole found the square hole where they fit. With one particular sexual distraction used in the plan and the violence of war, the movie is rated R. Now according to sources the movie should have lasted 105 minutes, but I'm not totally sure of length or if there was an easter egg at the end. As the credits started to roll, the actor listing had just started to scroll up the screen when they abruptly stopped and the house lights came on. I hadn't expected the movie to end that way.

If Micmacs comes to your local art house cinema or becomes available via Netflix or in Blockbuster, have a look, I think that you'll find it enjoyable.

The Movie Monkey

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