Mood Indigo: Creepy Cute

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Mood Indigo:  Creepy Cute

Anyone who knows me knows I love bright colors, musicals, the cute and quirky.  I also love all manner of surrealism, dark matters and scary corners.   I do not however like cute, quirky, dark surrealism.   That is why I can appreciate the bouncing off the wall artistry that is “Mood Indigo”, while remaining an aloof, somewhat creeped out fan.

Based on a novel by very popular French author Boris Vian, “Mood Indigo” is a love story between an eccentric rich inventor Colin (Romain Duris) and a free-spirited beauty Chloe (Audrey Tautou).  They embark on a whirlwind romance that sees them floating over the city in a mechanical swan run off a crane, enjoy fancy feasts cooked by their friend Nicolas (Omar Sy), and dancing the latest craze until Chloe contracts a mysterious disease that manifests itself in growing a flower in her lung.

Although “Mood Indigo” is head shaking confusing at first, in the end I understood every weird interlude, I think.  Not having read the book or having heard of it, I have seen where fans are celebrating the movie for capturing it so brilliantly.  I’ll just have to take their word for it.

So many refuse to see subtitled movies, yes it is in French, that I often tire of trying to convince them that they are missing out on whole worlds.  But advocate that I am for foreign cinema, I have to tell you that this one is hard to read for the first half of the movie.  The visual feast is so bright, so colorful and changes so quickly that the type is hard to read.  The rapid fire dialogue also means that type is not up long before it changes.  It makes it very hard to split your focus when the visuals are so enticing.

So, what’s so creepy about so much cuteness?  For one all that beautiful food is in continual stop motion animation on the plate.  It makes the food look alive and I am sorry but that just creeps me out.  It is NOT appetizing in the least.  A doorbell seems to come alive like a spider with crawling legs every time it rings.  Creepy!  Oddly enough, when the film slows down its frantic pace and saturation and goes totally in a dark direction, I felt more comfortable.  Like I said, darkness I can understand and like.  Cute, colorful, fun, I like. 

All I can tell you is that it is very different.  It is fantasy artistry on steroids.   I love Audrey Tautou and she is as charming today as she was when I first saw her in 2001’s “Amelie”. But you might know her as Tom Hanks’ love interest in “The Da Vinci Code”.   Though I did not remember his name, I instantly recognized Romain Duris from last year’s adorable “Populair”, which was my foreign film pick for 2013.   And what a treat to see Omar Sy from 2011’s “The Intouchables”.  If you haven’t seen that film, you simply must!

If you are a fan of the book or a real ‘art’ film lover don’t pass “Mood Indigo” by.  It is head shaking weird but unquestioningly beautiful art.

“Mood Indigo” captures 3&1/2 Red Vines for incredible movie imagery


A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studios but it in no way affects my unbiased review.