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Amelie - Movie Review

'Feel good' factor is an universal movie phenomenon - because it makes money. Most of the movies that set out to please the audience usually end up with a lot saccharine sweet scenes or unnatural plots that the viewer instead of feeling good, actually feels bitter at the end of the movie. Jean Pierre Jeunet's 'Amelie' gets the commercial ingredients in right proportion to truly make the viewer feel better.

Amelie Poulain is a lonely child - taught at home by her teacher mother, she doesn't have any friends to play with all her childhood. The atmosphere in the house is so emotionally insulated that even a fish in their aquarium tries to kill itself by jumping out of the glass case. When she grows into a fine young woman, she finds a job at a cafe, and her uneventful life progresses smoothly until she finds an old rusty box containing the memorabilia of a boy who had lived in the same apartment four decades back.

Amelie, whose life is not punctuated by anything bizarre, tries an experiment: find out he owner of the box, return it to him and observe how he feels about his long lost treasure. When the box is somehow returned to the owner, now a man in his fifties, he cries out in joy and calls the deliverer his guardian angel (Amelie remains anonymous). Motivated by this incident, she sees herself as a do-gooder, taking every opportunity to anonymously help people who cross her life. And the receivers of her grants are mostly the residents of the apartment in which she lives.

Because of her uncommon social sense, she doesn't find having a boy friend adding any value to her life, or at least interesting, until she meets Nino. Nino works here and there, had an abnormal childhood and passionately collects discarded photographs form auto-photo booths. Though this is a case of love-at-first-sight, because of Amelie's shyness and fear of rejection she keeps sending Nino on rounds before they finally accept each other. In fact, Amelie is so shy that when they both finally meet, she insists on not talking and they make love, which symbolizes the beginning of their family life.

Scenes flow like a steady river because of sensible editing hands of Herve Schneid who lends to the pace of the movie which might otherwise have been a bit sagging. Since Amelie devices strategies to help her neighbours, the editor keeps the audience updated about her efforts in a manner that's easy to follow. Bruno Delbonnel imparts a strong greenish tinge to most of the scenes that provides a eerie feeling - a questionable move for an optimistic movie. But otherwise, the photography is strong.

Jeunet has extracted very good performances from the ensemble of actors. Audrey Tautou as Amelie sparkles and sizzles, very flamboyantly displaying mischief and shyness. Kassovitz as Nino is subtle and simple and plays his role to perfection. Jeunet does a good job of developing out-of-normal characters who are attentive to simple and trivial details. There is a healthy dose of optimism in this movie that you will actually wake up tomorrow morning thinking that the world is a beautiful place to live in.

1 Responses to “Amelie - Movie Review”

  1. # Anonymous Rajesh Segu

    Prasad! I am blogrolling you at www.rajeshsegu.com  

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