Pepe's View:

We have been seriously slack about keeping up with movies and writing blogs.  We even missed writing  a blog of "The Road" probably partly because of the fact that I for one disliked it so much that I couldn't get motivated to write about it.  We even missed all the films from the French Film Festival due to other commitments.  We did however, catch up with two of them when they were given a cinema release following the festival.

"Mic Macs" we saw at a preview screening on 27 March and immediately regretted not making more of an effort to see  French films at the festival.   What is it about the French Film Industry that coninues to produce captivating, interesting and genuinely funny films in such a quietly understated way.  Mic Macs (I will leave the translation of the title to Ma) concerns a serious issue -namely the influence and unscrupulousness of arms manufacturers in the modern world.  However, this theme is given a bizarre almost Pythonesque treatment which in my opinion accentuates the issue.  The film involves a man - played beautifully by Dany Boon  - who loses his father to a land mine in a war (WW2? )  and then becomes collateral damage himself when he is accidently shot at work by a passing motorcyclist and because of his long recovery period in hospital loses his job and so finds himself busking/begging on the streets.  He has inherited a piece of the landmine which blew up his father showing the manufacturer's logo and has been given the shell from the bullet that remains logged in his body again showing the manufacturer's logo.  Pure chance brings him to a street where these two rival arms giants have their factories (across the road from each other) and he embarks on a plan to get revenge.

He meets up with a group of misfits that support each other and live in a cave fashioned from a pile of junk.  They spend their days gathering and recycling rubbish and helping each other.  They insist on helping our hero plan his revenge.  The revenge plan involves the two rival CEO's each thinking the other is sabotaging him and so they escalate their own payback. 

The movie is full of small scenes of brilliant and inventive film making  - the original scene when Dany is shot by the passing motorcyclist,  the scenes of him attempting to busk in the streets,  the scenes when the CEO of the arm's company addresses his shareholders, the scenes of the CEO at home with his son - the list goes on.

This is a great film - funny, eccentric with a clear but underplayed message.  It could be seen that the group of misfits are symbols for society at large (everyman) and the arms manufacturers are the power brokers who control our lives and fate.  There is something appealing, particularly to Australians, to see the underdog cause the power brokers to get their cum uppance.

A thoroughly enjoyable film which is extremely well written and directed by Jean - Pierre Jeunet.

Score:  8.5/10

Ma's View

There is very little more that I can add!  Except to explain the title - and I had to contact a French friend for that!  Mic Macs in French means "mish-mash" or "chaos" which is what the group of misfits create when they take on the arms dealers.  They also do it using a mish-mash of recylclables - often dodgy and unreliable!  The second part of the title "a tire-larigot" is classic French idiom meaning "to an excessive degree" and usually used in reference to drinking.  Even my friend had to research the origin - now completely remote from present usage!  So, in other words, the underdogs mess up the big guys "big-time"!

Having thoroughly enjoyed Juenet's "Amelie" and also the more thought-provoking "Delicatessen", I was looking forward to Micmacs immensely and was not disappointed.   Juenet could be accused of being simplistic as the characters of the avenging misfits are lovable, quirky and eccentric while the bad guys are thoroughly detestable and unredeemable evil.  The complex plot winds its way through a series of absurd and ingenious assaults on the arms dealers, ending in a most satisfying conclusion.  It is more like a fairytale where good triumphs over evil - at no stage are we fearful of the outcome and (Brecht-lik) at no stage do we forget it is a movie we are watching; the protagonists even ride past a billboard advertising this very movie!

My score:  9/10

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