Media & Film

Amélie – Foreign Film Review

Amélie, directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet is a film for the eccentrics.

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Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Actress: Audrey Tautou
Genre: Adventure, Romance
Running Time: 129 minutes
Amélie is quiet. She is a charmingly innocent character, played by Audrey Tautou, placing us at the brink of one of her greatest discoveries – a box of treasures found in the wall of her apartment.

She lives in a dainty apartment, interacting intimately without exception.   Each character is masterfully layered and transformed into an almost irreplaceable piece in the story of Amélie.

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Jean Pierre Jeunet, the director, began collecting memories of events to include in his masterpiece in 1974. Like  fine French wine, the components of the film came together with time, only being completed in 2001. The film is narrated in French, providing a charming cultural window into the life of a French girl. Jean Pierre depicts a real female in that Amélie is not stylized or sexualised, she is completely and entirely herself.

One of the most significant moments in Amélie’s thought process is when she sets out her decision to be;  found in the dialogue that follows:

Le 31 août, a 4 heaures du matin
On August 31st at 4:00 am

Une idéé lumineuse frappe soudain Amélie
Amélie had a dazzling idea

Elle va retrouver le propriétaire de cette boîte et lui render son trésor
Wherever he was, she would find the box’s owner and give him back his treasure

Si ça le touche, c’est decide, elle se mêlera de la vie desautres
If he was touched, she’d become a regular do-gooder

Sinon, tant pis.
If not, too bad

 

The phenomenon that is Amélie, is brought about by the feeling of a calming cinematic experience, and an overall atmosphere of quirkyness. Amelie is an art film, pioneering expression as a means of storytelling.

Although, Jean Pierre is a fan of mystery, his style in this film is off harmless mystery. The sweet thrill of what each scene leads to is still left a mystery in the end of the film.

The director ensures that there are no such ‘filler’ characters or scenes. On the conclusion of the film, it is evident that each character played a complex role in embodying the message of Amélie, ‘to feel deeply’.

The colour palette, yellow, red and green, carries emotion that transcends words. The viewing becomes an emotional experience, with each eccentric quirk adding to the magic of Amélie’s everyday life. The first time I viewed the film; I experienced the most dearly unfolding of events. However, I noticed that with consequent viewings, I was treated to the smaller, somewhat chaotic, details.
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At times, Jean Pierre gives context by diving into the mind of Amelie, as she imagines herself in a television show or her ornaments and paintings speak of her subconscious as she sleeps. One of my personal favourite elements of the film is the score. Composed by Yann Tierman, La Valse d’Amelie skillyfully captures the ambiance of the film, acting as an accessory to the films euphoria.

Each intrinsic element brought forward by Jean Pierre fits comfortably into a meaningful film about Amélie’s divine interventions. The experience of finding the owner of the box of treasures catapults Amélie into a venture that claims her the ‘regular do-gooder’, and that she is.

The movie makes use of underlying threads of interactions tying up into one of the most delightful love stories of the 21st century. I believe the film has the capability of resonating deeply in the soul of any girl who has ever felt closed off from the outside world. I rate the movie 10/10. I know this seems hard to believe, but give the film a chance and we can chat about it on Instagram, @thebrowngirlsociety

– Sauda

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