Monday Movie: Micmacs
When Bazil catches a stray bullet to the head, it's the second arms-related tragedy in his life after his father was killed by a landmine. Now unemployed, homeless, and a little... peculiar, Bazil joins a small community of misfits who live in a scrapyard, and plots to destroy the two arms manufacturers responsible for his misfortunes.
Micmacs à Tire-Larigot was not a risky film for Jean-Pierre Jeunet to make, embodying all his characteristic touches: the warm colour palette, the slightly odd-looking actors, the well-meaning mischief. The plot is rather loose, and the characters are never well defined. But, in its own small way, this is a film with an endearingly quirky voice of its own.
It's perhaps Jeunet's most understated film, dispensing with the narrator of his previous two films, often letting scenes play out with little or no dialogue - helped in no small part by Dany Boon in the lead role. Boon's portrayal of a melancholy character in desperate poverty who nevertheless displays dynamic and comedic brilliance is more than a little Chaplin-esque, and the whole film displays a visual ingenuity more common to silent films and cartoons. It may lack the emotional power that Jeunet is capable of, but the worst you can say of Micmacs is that it is a nice film.