Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

Amelie is a story about a young introverted girl in Paris, who was brought up by eccentric parents who kept her home-schooled and thus she lacked social interaction with other kids. She is peculiar and weird, quiet and awkward yet she is thoughtful and detailed, kind and cute.

This film is amazing. Infallible music, quirky filming and superb acting quickly draws the audience into the film through it’s third person narration. Amelie is a girl with few words and many quirks, which I am sure being closet introvert that we are, we can relate to. She likes to skip stones, thinks a lot (and even through TV programs), she loves and observes the little details of life and she makes a habit of going out of her way to make everyone else’s wishes come true while she avoiding the “mess” in her own life. She loves grand schemes the she often uses for good, fulfilling the dreams of all the people around her, but she secretly does use it for pranks on people she hates too.

When she meets an usual guy that is quirky, just like her, she falls in love in her dreams just by imagining what he must be life from the crumbs of his life she found. Yet being shy, she goes to great lengths to set up meetings where she would remain invisible to him and never taking the step out of her comfort zone until further beckoning by her neighbour Raymond Dufayel aka Glass Man.

So, my little Amélie, you don’t have bones of glass. You can take life’s knocks. If you let this chance pass, eventually, your heart will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton. So, go get him, for Pete’s sake! -Raymond Dufayel

The idea surrounding her actions is a highly relatable one (well at least to introverts). It is easy for her to solve the problems of others through attention to the tiny details in life. Yet an uphill battle for her to solve her own social anxiety issues and relationship ills. That’s what made her final leap so endearing and really put a smile on my face.

The unorthodox filming used accentuated the weird-quality of Amelie with funky aerial shots, the slightly alleviated angle when filming Amelie giving her a creepy smile, the wide angles with unusual up-close shots of characters, eccentric presentations and funky colours.

I am not sure if it is just me, but I noticed the stark contrast in colours used in this film. Besides the usual yellow/brown vintage look, there is a slight tint of green in almost every shot that is outside of Amelie’s apartment, while her apartment is almost entirely made of red and Amelie herself wore red throughout most of the film. Despite giving the entire film a retro look and drawing attention to the main characters or items, I do find that it symbolizes Amelie’s inner passion and confidence while the green everywhere else (especially in the subway where he meets the Nino) symbolizes envy, like the green she wore when she thought she lost Nino to Gina, her co-worker, or a queer unloving world. Her apartment is her safe haven that represents her inner most feelings for herself and the world and she chose the most confident colour– red.

(Amelie sabotaging the apartment of the mean grocer’s Collignon)
It could very much be a style of  Jean-Pierre Jeunets but it does add another layer of depth into this eccentric film.

I know I have said eccentric, unusual and quirky a lot but this is exactly what this film is about.

9.5/10 (Amazing movie. Stylistically presented everyday-life story that is highly relatable but not overly mundane.)

*Images from https://www.facebook.com/AmelieMovie/



6 thoughts on “Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001)

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