Michel Gondry is a name you might not know but probably should. The man is a French director that created a niche for himself in the late 90’s with unique music clips for the likes of Bjork, The White Stripes and others. His first Hollywood film Human Nature wasn’t overly brilliant but it did pair him with Charlie Kaufman; and it was this duo responsible for the much-loved Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Since then Gondry has become a true Auteur in his own right with varying degrees of success in Hollywood (Be Kind Rewind) and back home in France (The Science Of Sleep). As a director for hire he’s made a Flight Of The Conchords episode as well as the odd yet undervalued The Green Hornet (2011).
Mood Indigo is his latest French effort and I must say that it was an absolute pleasure to be taken on this ride of whimsical fantasy through the eyes of Gondry. Based on the novel Froth On A Daydream by Boris Vian – apparently this is the third film adaptation of this tale. I have no idea how that original story plays out or how it was brought to the screen the previous two times but the way Gondry interprets it visually is fun and imaginative.This is the simple story of Colin (Romain Duris), an inventor and rather awkward sort who lives with his cook Nicolas (Omar Sy). Colin is coaxed into going to a party to meet a girl – any girl. The girl he meets and falls instantly in love with is Chloe (Audrey Tautou) whose feelings toward Colin are mutual. From there we follow their journey of growing affection for each other which leads to marriage and then the trial of her falling ill and he having to make sacrifices to do all he can to support her in the hope that she gets better.
Using all the tricks from his bag including stop-motion, puppetry and digital effects, what we end up with is a surreal, fun and heartfelt story of love with some wonderful performances from all involved. There’s even a well-played cameo from Gondry himself as a bumbling doctor.