Popular of Late
- The Rotted - Get Dead or Die Trying
- Re: Mourning September Watches and Reads
- Re: Black September Playlists (white and pink ...
- Re: August's rhymes of lunacy...
- Re: Muzak Hauls and Bargains
- Re:Miscallenous hauls and bargains
- Re:August Watches
- Re:Talk to me about local rock shows (and bands)
- Re:DC Webzine launches a record label - DC Rec...
- Re:Have Game Will Play
Running Time: 105 min
Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Charlotte Gainsbourg
As I have not seen his erstwhile film efforts like Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, Michael Gondry is mainly known to me as the creative maker of several of those Bjork music videos, which I liked a lot. Hence it was with some anticipation that I got to watching this one and I am happy to say that my expectations have been surpassed handsomely.
This could be a very conventional date movie about how the underdog wins, but Gondry introduces some unique viewpoints which take it far above the mundane. First, Stephane is torn between the real world and a fantasy world where anything can happen. Gondry himself does not bother about strictly differentiating these 2 worlds and cheerfully segues from one into the other. The fantasy elements give Gondry free rein to express his own trademark visual sensibility, with the use of deliberate lo-fi effects that exude their unique charm. Thus we see Stephane flying over swaying buildings or riding with Stephanie on a stuffed toy horse or sailing on a forest-covered boat in an ocean of cellophane, all essayed with a warmth that would have been impossible to convey using the conventional photo-realism obsessed brand of CGI or that overused 'Tim Burton style'.
Up to this was very much expected. But what pleased me far beyond was Gondry's writing. In Stephane and Stephanie, he has created characters that are non-stereotypic and very empathetic human beings; Thanks to heart-tugging performances by Charlotte Gainsbourg and Gael Bernal, we genuinely like them even as we are made aware of their respective flaws. One of the other online reviews I read nailed it right on the head when it said that in a lesser movie Stephane's idiosyncrasies would have been translated as a cuteness factor that endears him to other stock characters. Here we have no doubts that any emotional relationship between him and Stephanie will have its share of troubles. Even the end is left ambiguous, we are given no assurance that their association will go beyond heartfelt friendship. It is again to Gondry's credit that we appreciate this ambiguity and do not as an audience ask for a forced resolution. While the leads are terrific, the film also has an interesting set of supporting characters that add to the humor and charm of the experience.
To sum up, The Science of Sleep is a terrific emotional experience that no one who likes off-beat narratives should miss. It is also a great date movie, and one that you do not have to leave your intelligence at the door for.
|More where this came from:|
You need to login or register to post comments.