Two lovers who are destined for tragedy and, wait a minute… no this isn’t the Fault In Our Stars. Although now that it’s been brought up, I can certainly say that the teenage drama is far superior to Michael Gondry’s latest film which shares similar themes and messages, just not as well. Anyway to go into greater detail on the plot, Colin seems to have everything in life apart from a woman to share it with. When he meets Chloe it seems that now he really does have everything he has ever wanted, but once again he is wrong when they are struck with something that neither of them want or need.
Like many of Gondry’s films it’s visually pleasing in its simplicity. The set pieces are signed to be small and meaningful to focus on the emotional depth of the characters. If done correctly this can result in great things, but in this case it just falls rather flat. It feels as if too much attention has been put into certain areas of the film and normally that could work very well. But here there is nothing to support these glimpses of imagination.
The biggest problem comes from the main characters. They are likable enough to make their relationship work but not to make it feel believable or emotionally attached to them. The inevitable misfortunes that affect this couple don’t affect the audience at all. The initial likability wears off as the film drags on and we fail to care about them at all.
There are some elements of creativity and moments of goodness in this film. It’s hard not to admire the care that goes into crafting every single frame and the imagination behind it. There are so many great ideas strung together here that Mood Indigo would appear to be destined for greatness. However while the film has the right ingredients there is nothing to soften the edges. As we’ve seen in The Fault In Our Stars tragic romances can have some comedic moments without losing any of its poignancy. But Mood Indigo manages to avoid both, resulting in a generally empty film.
One of the most annoying things is that there is an obvious potential here, but it all feels wasted with the story going down a much less entertaining and route which makes it feel almost lazy. An example of this is the fact that the earliest stage of Colin and Chloe’s relationship, the formation for some potentially great material, is just skipped with an irritating ‘six months later’. This means that we’re not connected to the couple, so we’re just witnessing their sadness from a distance.
The emotional lack just turns this into quite a peculiar piece as well, with no sense of direction or true meaning. Even the visuals begin to lose their affect eventually, unable to compensate for the lack of everything else. The acting is well done but again there is a great waste of talent as these competent actors who look like they could handle complicated characters are just left with blank copies of themselves that are saying things that should mean something. Most importantly the film lacks a central moral with which the events and characters can circle around. Instead it just ends up as a mess. You have to really admire the visual and peculiar nature of this film to like it.