Mood Indigo, directed by Michel Gondry, is a tale of romance and tragedy set in a wonderfully bizarre Paris. The film is based upon the book “L’ÉCUME DES JOURS’”
The protagonist, Colin (Romain Duris), is a wealthy playboy who spends his time studying the works of Jean-Sol Parte (Philippe Torreton) and working on his Pianocktail invention, a piano that makes cocktails. Upon learning that his best friend, Chick (Gad Elmaleh), has begun dating an American girl, Alise (Aissa Maiga), he comes to desire a relationship of his own. While at a party, Colin is introduced to Chloe (Audrey Tautou), with whom he begins dating. The two quickly fall in love and are married. However, Chloe is found to have a water lily in one of her lungs, which can only be treated with a constant stream of fresh flowers and treatment is certain to bankrupt Colin. The couple must endure the strain on their lives and Chloe endures treatment and Colin must find ways to pay for said treatment.
The film creates a wonderfully surreal and creative world that is easy with which to become immersed. The imagery is continuously impressive, with no expense spared to paint a city full of people and things that range from peculiar to enchanting, to just plain disturbing. The cast give solid performances overall, and the characters, in spite of the crazy world they live in, are all likeable and relatable in one way or another.
In spite of its charms, the film is not without flaws. The pacing seemed slow at times, particularly earlier on. The film also seemed to be without any motivation for a quite some time. For roughly the first half of the film there was no sense of urgency, which made it difficult to feel invested in the story. Though these issues were alleviated later in the film, it did make the film harder to watch early on.
Overall, Mood Indigo has likeable, quirky cast who live in an even more quirky world. Though the film suffers from some pacing issues, they aren’t enough to make the film unenjoyable. If you’re the type of person who loves movies for the rich worlds they can create, then this is not a film to miss out on. However, if you prefer strong narratives with solid pacing, or just find weird, almost nonsensical concepts unappealing, then you may want to pass.
Directed by Michel Gondry. Written by Michel Gondry and Luc Bossi. Produced by Luc Bossi. A coproduction by Brio Films, Studio Canal, France 2 Cinema, Herodiade, Scope with the participation of Canal+ and Cine+.