I greatly enjoyed watching this French film, Amelie. Through this I had an opportunity to see a glimpse of their lifestyle and to view the difference between French film and Hollywood films. The film shows some various kinds of etiquette, words of encouragement, kindness and most importantly love. Truly, there is so much to love about this film. And I explain to you later why. Through this film I could say that I relate to certain things and definitely encourage me to be kind and do good in others. Sounds ironic? So let’s start.
Amelie Poulain, is a French shy, timid, sensitive and solemn girl. With the help of the narrator we had an overview towards Amelie’s background. Her life and the reasons that shaped her soul and imagination. She grew up with a father who is a doctor. Her father gives her no hugs and kisses and only touches her during checkups. So it ends up always making her heart beat faster, thinking that she has a heart problem. That’s why she was home schooled that leads her to isolation where her only friend was their fish. Her mother is a school teacher that dies early after a very tragic (should I say tragic or comedic way?) suicidal in the tower which accidentally fall on her. A very bad timing indeed.
And to fast forward to present, she works at an old fashioned restaurant in Montmartre district as a waitress. She grows up lonely and alone. Until the death of princess Diana changed everything. Yes. Because after hearing the news in the TV she suddenly drop a bottle cap that hit the wall and then crack. She found out that there’s a rusty old box hiding behind the wall of her apartment. Amelie was amuse. She treats it as a treasure box because of certain things that serves as memories of a young boy. So she decided that she needs to do something. Return the box to the owner. After her successful plan, Amelie feels wonderful. She feels that she need to do something special for someone else. So she had a goal to make people happy, but not in an old way. So Amelie’s journey of bringing out kindness to others will begin here. She starts it with her father, Amelie trying to persuade him to go out and travel the world. So she keeps sending her pictures with a gnome statue at different international landmarks. She also help Lucien who has an arrogant and mean employer. He always belittling Lucien in front of many customers. Amelie doesn’t like to see anyone being mistreated, so she played a lot of practical jokes to the local grocer’s apartment when he is not home. Such as putting sugar in his wine, setting his alarm clock at 4am, swaps his slippers with a smaller one and many more tricks that convince him that he’s may be going insane. Amelie also plays as a matchmaker by helping her co-worker towards their regular customer. She also help her neighborhood Mr. Duyafel by recording interesting clips from TV because he cannot leave his apartment due to his age and fear of shattering his brittle bones. She also help a woman who’s been depressed in many years, by sending a love letter just before her husband accidental years before. The woman was filled with Joy after receiving the letter. But my most favorite person that she helped and probably my most part of the film, (yes, we’re on the climax) is when she help Nino Quincampox, a man that works on a porn store by giving back his old photo album that fell out on his motorbike. This photo album was full of distorted photos that been left in metro photo booth. At the process of finding Nino, she developed feelings for him. But she was too afraid to show her love and affection towards Nino. Amelie made a lot of things to hide from Nino, but when she finally ready to meet him and confess her feelings, she thought that her friend and Nino were dating, she misunderstood it. In fact her friend was actually helping her. Due of this, she lost her courage to pursue her feelings to Nino. When Mr. Duyafel notice it he immediately send a video tape that telling her that she must be brave, she needs to take chances and do not be afraid of telling her feelings to the one she love or otherwise she will be forever alone just like him. After watching the video, Amelie went to the door to go after him, but timely Nino was there. So to make the story short they had a romantic night and begin their relationship. Yes. It has a happy ending. And this one of my reasons why I will put into my Most love films.
Amelie is a romantic-comedy film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. He is a director, a scriptwriter and a film producer. His famous films are, Delicatessen, The city of lost children and Alien: Resurrection. He was known of inscrutable narratives. And most often his films was recognizable because of some techniques he always used, Such as casting actors who has unusual features, uses often wide camera angles, his main characters are usually orphans or have lost one of their parents and many more.
On the surface, I found Amelie as a film that will lift up your spirit. Obviously the main Issues of this film is only about Innocence and simplicity, Childhood, Kindness and happiness. Her mission in life does not totally discuss but merely the desire is to make people happy. And I think that was the main goal of the director to his audiences. To cope with Amelie’s happiness and simplicity. Amelie also represents as a modern fairy tale in our generations, though it doesn’t actually fit to kids because of its some sexual content, but the purpose here is for the adults to mirror their simple pleasures of childhood.
I also admire Jeunets for making this film because he shows again the power and importance of women. That us womens can make change, to make world simple and happy. I also love the way that he left a remarkable portrait of a woman which demonstrates spiritual practice of kindness to others. Amelie also reminds me of one of the verses in the Bible, “ I Tell you the truth, unless you become a like little children, you will never enter kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mathew 18:3-4 This verse doesn’t mean that you have to look like a child, don’t grow and stay as a child, but it actually tells us that we must act a like a child with innocence and has a pure heart. And this was perfectly shown through Amelie. You can see innocence in her eyes. Even though her life is miserable, she always find joy and laughter in all things. With her likable and charming character she didn’t notice that she already affecting and touching people lives around her.
I only noticed that Jeunets also break some Hollywood and American effects. One of these is the several times they break the fourth wall, giving an impression that the characters were actually talking to audience. Like this one.
Over all, the film was so incredible. The story and characters are well planned. And I think the message that Amelie trying to convey is that life here on earth is too short, we should keep moving forward, enjoy every moment in our lives, make the most out of it. Don’t let harsh realities in life hold you back. We are the tools of our future, that even how horrible our past was we can still change it by our own choices and decisions.