beginning of the story
beginning of the story
Strange clouds
Fictive heart disease
Amé's world
Playing with water
The box of memories
Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain

Review of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film
   Amélie is a not an ordinary woman. She was raised apart from the other children, between a distant father and a neurotic mother. Her only friends are the imaginary creatures she made up and her suicidal goldfish. Nino is not an ordinary man either. While Amélie was dreaming of playing with other children, he was dreaming of escaping from their constant bullying. Both now live in Paris. One day they merely walk past one another. Then another day, he walks past her again and accidentally leaves his bag behind. In the bag she finds a very unusual family album. Amélie feels attracted to this strange man but she is scared to do anything straightforward about it. She is unable to confront reality and leave her secure imaginary world. She has grown used to her loneliness and feels out of place amongst people. One day, she helps a man to make up with his family and feels so happy that she decides to spend her life helping good people and punishing bad ones. But maybe by giving all her time and love to change other people's lives, she is also refusing to live her own?
   This wonderful tale has charmed thousands of people and quickly reached the status of a cult film in its home country. There is something extremely cheerful and magic about this story, which makes it irresistible. After seeing this film, the viewer walks out with a part of the love, happiness and light-heartedness infused in it. The mood is so optimistic and relentlessly hopeful, so that even tragic moments are either quickly forgotten or de-dramatised. For instance, a scene in which Amélie is overcome by loneliness and imagines her own death related on tv is approached in such a way that it becomes funny because overly exaggerated. At the same time though, there is a deep empathy for the characters and their pain but the main concept seems to be that people should not dramatise everything and dwell on life's hardship but rise above it and live it fully. This film is like an apology of all the little things that make life beautiful but which our hardened ways make us pass by and miss out. It also celebrates love, insisting that the happiness it brings is worth risking the pain that may subsequently result from it.
   The music is quite beautiful and the main theme, a valse, is both moving and uplifting. Another brilliant piece is "Comptine d'un autre été", a remarkable piano track. Main instrument used by the composer is the accordion, which is reminiscent of traditional French folk songs. The colours in the film have been digitally enhanced in order to obtain a unique vibrant look, mostly composed of vivid greens and reds.
   The narrative structure is carefully worked out to maintain interest and suspens. Brief flashbacks from different characters's lives or daydreams suddenly emerge in the present reality, making ordinary people and events much less simple and down-to-earth. The different themes covered are so numerous that to put it in a nutshell, it is possible to say that this film deals with life.
   What is striking in the film is the marked differences in tone. For instance, the director's way of dealing with sex is very unusual as it is treated first as a joke, in some rather crude scenes but there is also one of the most romantic, respectful and sweet sequence ever seen on screen between lovers, almost as if these scenes had been filmed by two different people, maybe in order to show the different aspects of sexuality or to prove that overtly crude people can also see the beauty in sexual intimacy. Similarly, the happiness of the main tone is sometimes contrasted with the very tragic events that people are sometimes faced with (death, loneliness, injuries etc.).
Film Reviews
plot spoiler: Ending
Welcome Page
Drawing Gallery
Games Reviews
Literature Reviews
Music Reviews
Site map
Plan site
All images I captured from the film and property of UGC.

Please read the FAQ before taking materials from my site!
Consultez la faq avant de prendre des éléments de mon site svp!