Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has done it again; created another film as loveable as his previous hit Amelie (2001). I went to see the new release of Micmacs and am still marveling at Jeunet's character-building techniques, brand of French humour, visual aesthetic and childlike imagination.
The plot involves eight misfits who recycle scrap in their Batcave-esque workshop, one of whom is the main character, Bazil. They all embark on an adventure to help Bazil get revenge against two arms dealers responsible for his father's death from a land mine and the stray bullet that's buried in his head.
It's a thriller, of sorts, and the action sequences are some of the best and most original I've seen for a long time – an aspect that the critics have not paid much attention to. This is surprising considering action is not what Jeunet is known for. Take the slow-motion scene when the guns are thrown into the air at the video shop in the opening scene when Bazil gets shot, or the flicker of the girly calendar during the explosion at the weapons factory – genius. These details, and in particularly the animated interludes characteristic of Jeunet, make a second or third viewing of Micmacs essential.
The automated sculptures that feature in the film are another highlight. They were made by the Parisian artist Gilbert Peyre. I could watch the mouse puppet, the walking stool, the weight lifter and the dancing skirt and blouse again and again. His website is www.gilbert-peyre.com. I will be sending him a thank you letter.