~Downstairs at the Savoy~
Not Rated; 94 minutes
In French w/subtitles
Matthew Turner, View London (excerpted)
Beautifully designed and directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Mood Indigo, adapted from the 1947 cult novel L'écume des Jours, stars Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou. Duris plays Colin, a wealthy inventor who shares a Parisian rooftop apartment with his live-in lawyer/cook Nicolas (Omar Sy) and hangs about with his best friend Chick (Gad Elmaleh). When Chick announces that he has fallen in love, Colin declares that he wants to fall in love too and promptly does so, when he meets the beautiful Chloe (Tautou) at a party.
After a whirlwind romance during which they take a Cloud Tour of Paris (a wonderful sequence), Colin and Chloe are married. However, when Chloe contracts a mysterious illness, a water lily growing in her lung, Colin finds himself approaching bankruptcy as he attempts to cure her.
The plot of the film is essentially Love Story (boy meets girl, girl falls terminally ill), only filtered through the bonkers sensibilities of Gondry. From the opening sequence, Gondry packs in a breathtaking amount of visual effects work that includes papier-mache eels in the taps, a table on roller-skates, food that moves, shoes that run away and a tiny man in a mouse costume that lives in the walls. Mood Indigo is Gondry at his most ‘Gondry-esque,’ a dazzlingly inventive romantic tragedy with breath-taking effects and charming performances.