Ten years ago, director Michel Gondry, with the not inconsiderable help of scripter Charlie Kaufman, crafted Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, an era-defining love story. And watching Mood Indigo, you can’t help but think of that earlier triumph. Adapting from the cult 1947 novel L’Écume Des Jours by Boris Vian, Gondry is once again attempting to explore the mysteries of the human heart, only this time with less success.
While Gondry’s brilliance with homespun visual effects – blending CGI, stop-motion and in-camera practical work – has never been more to the fore, the result often overwhelms. Imagine the sheer level of invention Gondry displays in, say, his Björk video for ‘Army Of Me’, but for 94 minutes. What it does, unfortunately, is create a negative impact on the emotions swirling around the film’s second half.
Like eating a box of chocolates in one sitting, Mood Indigo will leave you stuffed but hankering for something more substantial. Gondry-ites will be seduced, but this is as undisciplined as it is inventive.