Mood Indigo

Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films

“Mood Indigo”  (2014)

Colin (Roman Duris) is living the good life. He has money, a cool apartment, and a cook / lawyer making his meals and time to work on his passion for inventing things. The investors latest is the “coctailpiano” that mixes an alcoholic drink based on what song you play. Nevertheless, Colin is sad because everyone one of his friends has a girlfriend, and he can’t find someone to love. He is invited to a party, with the idea that his friends will find someone for him to fall in love with. He meets Chloe (Audrey Tautou) but almost blows it with his opening line. Thinking he has destroyed his chance, he tries to flee but the hostess stops him and steers him back into Chloe’s direction.

Chloe is instantly attracted to Colin and soon they are on the dance floor, dancing to Duke Ellington. The next day they decide to explore the city of Paris, taking in the sites and quickly falling in love. The next thing you know, its six months later and Colin is trying to get up the courage to ask Chloe to marry. Both lovers want the proposal to happen, but they can’t seem to find the right time for it to occur. In their excitement, because of the possible marriage proposal, they crash head on into each other on an ice-skating rink. As they both are being carried off the ice via stretchers, Colin asks Chloe to marry him, and she accepts. Everything seems to be working just right for the couple, even winning a race that allows them to marry in the church of their dreams. Things start going downhill on the honeymoon, when Chloe develops a cough and passes out a couple of times. They cut their honeymoon short and head back to the city. Chloe soon takes a turn for the worse and is diagnosed with a flower growing in her lung. If the doctors can’t stop the growth, Chloe will die. Colin goes on a mission to find a cure, sparing no expense to try to save his beloved wife.

Mood Indigo

Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films

Director Michel Gondry brings us this bittersweet film about falling in love and just what we will do for our loved ones. I loved the way this film started out, especially all the stop-motion animation as Colin interacts with his inventions, including a doorbell that every time is rings it crawls down the wall like a spider. Even the simple task of Colin putting on his shoes is complicated by the fact that the shoes seem to have a life on their own, taking off down the staircase before he can put them on his feet. Besides the cook/ lawyer, who thinks the best way to clear the dinner table is by using a squeegee to push all the diner-ware onto the floor; Colin has a tiny man in a rat costume also assist him, like helping him pick out a tie. Colin’s best friend is Chick (Gad Elmaleh) who has an unhealthy fascination with a philosopher named Jean-Sol Partre (Philippe Torreton). Chick has a girlfriend; Alise (Aissa Maiga), who Chick keeps talking about marrying but never can muster the courage to pop the question.

Mood Indigo

Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films

I love the chaos of the first half of the film, which moves at almost a breathtaking speed, with eels meant for dinner, hiding in the water spouts of the apartment, the little man mouse driving a tiny car across the apartment, and food that seems to move across the plates, as the diners try to wrangle the food in order to eat it. Unfortunately, the film slows down to a snail’s pace once Chloe gets sick. The apartment, previously bright and filled with energy, becomes dark and filled with ugly brown cobwebs. By the end of the film, the movie has become a pale shadow of itself as if Gondry used up his budget during the first twenty minutes of the film.

Mood Indigo

Photo courtesy of Drafthouse Films

Roman Duris is wonderful in the role of Colin, exhibiting a nervous energy that combined with his boyish charm, makes us like him, even when he makes a fool of himself in front of Chloe. Audrey Tautou is superb, especially in the first half of the film when we fall in love with her character Chloe almost as fast as Colin does. She, like Duris is let down by the second half of the script. The chemistry and energy leave the film, giving the audience a sense of doom and gloom. What started out as a film full of exciting scenes filling the screen, becomes bogged down in a pall that doesn’t leave. The film ends with some animated drawings that Chloe’s character has completed throughout the film and shows us what this film could have been.   My Rating:   Bargain Matinee

My movie rating system from Best to Worst:  1). I Would Pay to See it Again  2). Full Price  3). Bargain Matinee  4). Cable  5). You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

“Mood Indigo” is playing exclusively in Atlanta at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema


“Mood Indigo” Website

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