- Choisi par nos consommateurs parmi Le meilleur de l'année 2003.
I had started watching it expecting a "weird French film", and that was indeed what I got at first. I couldn't believe the atmosphere that the directors had created in this film, though I imagine it might have been somewhat familiar to some Francophones living in the destruction after WW2. The introductory sequence to this film is MASTERFULLY shot, and it raised my expectations quite a bit.
Unfortunately, the same level of energy didn't seem to last when the movie really started. The atmosphere was fantastic, yes, and the inventions that were made in this movie (a MUSICAL SAW?) were totally unique. However, no amount of weird atmosphere can amend a movie if the story and characters aren't up to the job. In fact, it's a lot harder to create good characters & plot for a movie like this, because the movie has to make sense within its own unique world and yet make us the viewers feel like something REAL is at stake.
For a while, it seemed like Delicatessen was only as deep as its cover; scenes whose only purpose seemed to be to show the inventions of the movie dragged on too long, and the various conversations that the tenants of the apartment building had (I'm assuming you know the general story here) seemed to have no meaning. The Troglodytes that came in about 1/2-way through also didn't quite seem to fit in.
However, by the end of the movie all was justified. I realized just what an enormous task the movie had done; this is not a story of just the two main characters, but a story of at about a dozen tenants of the apartment building. By the end of the movie, each tenant of the apartment building was portrayed as a unique individual, and each had their own story.
...where will all those Moo toys go?
...is Livingston a good monniker for a monkey?
...wottop with the dude in the watery room?
...how much corn does it take to hire a terrorist?