This attractive movie, “Amelie” directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet has already become a massive hit in France by capturing the heart and imagination of the audience with its bizarre and extraordinary modern-day fairytale in its storyline about kindliness. The camera work’s style and its colour-drenced on the view of Paris is a visual treat. The most important aspect in this film is the performance of 23 years old Audrey Tautou playing her character as a shy, kindhearted waitress who helping others in needs and believed interior life is much more interesting than her daily existence. Her smile is impish with her dark eyes resonate with warmth and sly intelligence and her gorgeous kind of helmet brunet hair.
The story began by recounts of her childhood and her parent’s behavior that is quite different compared to a normal parents in which it may contribute to the rareness in Amelie’s character in this film. After her mother dies due to someone who attempt to commit suicide accidently landed on her by accident from the rooftop of the church building and her father who are in sorrow, she make a decision to retreats into solitude. After a while, she discovered a box hidden with a childhood treasure behind her loose brick’s wall and managed to return it to the rightful owner. Amelie find it addictive in helping people solving and interfering their problems for a better life.
The modern-day fairytale in this film exist when the heroine play her role as half princess and half knight in shining armor but she does not involve in any battling, she working her role behind the scene without been known to the people involved. She impulsively holds a blind man with arms tightly around him to take a walk by telling him what is happening there and all the proceedings of the subway. The beginning of Amelie’s adventure started in performing more good deeds to others. She gives an inspiration to an strange elderly artist, helping a victim of a cruel bully in revenging his boss, motivate her father to take his first vacation and convinces a sad widow that her husband are truly loved her.
Her focus on making the live of others even better causes Amelie facing her own loneliness. Suddenly, she exchanges glances with a handsome man named Nino (Mathieu Kassovitz) in a Metro station. One of her weaknesses is she lacks of confidence to approach him directly. There is always sadness at the edges of bright romantic comedy ultimately is. The director, Mr Jeunet makes it clear on how shy and insecure she is as well as how desperate she need for a human contact that she cannot initiate. Instead, she pulls him into a treasure hunt game in which she leaves clues about her everywhere because to Nino, Amelie is still the mystery woman.
Jean-Pierre Jeunet is a true visionaries, a director in which his authorship can be seen in any frame of his movies included his previous films like Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children. The features Mr Jeunet creates in this film are entirely a world from scratch, ground up and mostly a world in which the character in this movie is seen as any human being. He made his own Paris using a sets and computer-generated art for this film, “Amelie”.
Each frame of this film is soaks with sepia and greens, with a few shots in blues. The sepia indicates that Amelie takes place in dreamscape Paris and the wide-open street in France. The tone is match with the theme, a romantic comedy that Mr Jeunet wanted to create. Other than that, black and white shot are used to demonstrate Amelie flashback in which it contributed a big difference between present and past along with her fantasy in this film.
Amelie is still one of the film that sharply edited and full with visual surprises in every sequence for audience to see. But, there are a few things that need to be improved in this film which included the next door painter whose function is largely to speak aloud the subtext and the distressing knowledge of what will happens to the characters immediately after the film ends. Besides that, there are some scenes that are censored and not suitable for those below 18 but these scene which reflect their behavior actually are quite common due to their culture compared to Malaysia that practices Islamic element in its culture and daily life. But, the most important aspect or metaphor in this film is the one when Amelie act herself as a director, watching an old film, set up an exciting parts for other people to play while watching the action from the sidelines, unable to participate in it directly. Overall, compared with the wild spirit shows in this film, the sadness gives “Amelie” its emotional heft. The way Mr Jeunet presented his idea in this film is extraordinary and out of the box of normal human thinking that make this film a success in France and it is fun to watch which make this film deserve 90 percent rating out of 100.
review by: Wan Nadia Nadhira binti Wan Kamarulbaharin