Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

Started the journey on French movies long before this movie-Amelie during one of the international Film Festivals. Then the French movies were the hightlight of the festival, though most of the selected movies from around the globe were just as delightful. Somehow the wit and romanticism of the French movies proved simply too irresistible and hauntingly beautiful. Of course there are darker themes in their movies but what I truly enjoy is the depiction of the whimsical tales or parts in the French cinematography.

Remember Amelie? One with the quirky character and wry smile? Her explosive imagination and sensitive soul allows her to peek into the lives and details of lives of many things and people. If not for her, Crème brûlée would not taste half as sinfully delicious and because of her, the pandora (spelled “evils of mankind”) box has a new interpretation, one that is filled with wonder and dream. Then Amelie has found a box that opens up the childhood dream of a typical dreamless or soul-less adult and that too, brought about a whole new world to her. Having witnessed how much joy a dream relived and fulfilled can be for the owner of the box, Amelie went in search of more adventures in changing the lives of others that cross her path. I especially like her neighbor the glass-man, a painter who is obssessed with painting the same “Luncheon by the Boating Party”, a painting by the impressionist, Renoir. Then it set me thinking of what the glass-man said about the lady drinking from the glass in that painting; how she is the centre of focus and yet almost detached from the partying crowd. Indeed, it was a clever association with the protangonist, Amelie and her life. The glass-man is certainly more than a painter, he is a philosopher in my opinion.

And I also like how Amelie would send a postcard to her widowed father, to get him to go explore the outside world rather than trapped in the memories of his deceased wife and the family house. That has in fact inspired me to send myself a postcard whenever I go travelling, though buying back the postcards would be more convenient than getting the postage stamps and posting them. Since then, I have quite a collection of postcards from places I’ve been to, all thanks to Amelie. Well of course no fans of this movie will forget her love at first sight with the equally imaginative oddball beau. I really like that first meeting at the subway and now I wonder if it’s the reason for my feeling much for the subway stations. A place that signifies meeting and parting, the subway has the magical touch when it comes to the first and last meeting, don’t you agree with me?

Come to think of it, the hugh success of Amelie just goes to show how much we long to dream and how little we dare to dream. No doubt the cinematography is a big draw, the theme and plot of this movie call out to the many lonely souls living in a mundane world. Yet regardless of what the reason may be, I just love this movie and wish more such movies would be made. Indeed,…..I really should go to the movie soon, it’s been along time since the last visit to the big screen.


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