Monday, April 2, 2012

Amelie: Dreams, Hearts, and Chances

Narrator: [Amelie has found Nino's photo album and his "lost" posters] "Any normal girl would call the number, meet him, return the album and see if her dream is viable.  It's called a reality check.  That's the last thing Amelie wants."

Narrator: "Nino is late.  Amelie can only see two explanations. 1-he didn't get the photo.  2-before he could assemble it, a gang of bank robbers took him hostage.  The cops gave chase.  They got away...but he caused a crash.  When he came to, he'd lost his memory.  An ex-con picked him up, mistook him for a fugitive, and shipped him to Istanbul.  There he met some Afghan raiders who took him to steal some Russian warheads.  But their truck hit a mine in Tajikistan.  He survived, took to the hills, and became a Mujaheddin.  Amelie refuse to get upset for a guy who'll eat borscht all his life in a hat like a tea cozy."

Porn Shop Clerk: "These are hard times for dreamers."

Jean-Pierre Jeunet's 2001 masterpiece, Amelie, is among my all time favorite films.  As the title suggests, the story's plot centers around a young woman named, Amelie whose childhood was marred by her mother's unfortunate death and her father's health concerns.  In order to ward off loneliness, as girl, Amelie creates her own fantastic dream world which allows her to define love and fairness in whatever way she sees fit.  When she finally becomes an adult, our Heroine's peculiar ideas about justice and romance cause her to act as both a secret matchmaker and a guardian angel to the people around her.  Yet, Poor Little Amelie remains lonely, finding herself still isolated, unable to connect with anyone, but her elderly neighbor, Raymond Dufayel.  With time, the Little Purveyor of Happiness becomes smitten with a young man who collects old passport photos.  She finds his peculiarities similar to her own and cannot resist connecting her heart to his. And Herein lies her challenge: Amelie must come out of the Shadows put and Actions to her Heart's Desire.  The task seems an impossible one to her until Dufayel reminds her: "little Amelie, your bones aren't made of glass.  You can take life's knocks.  If you let this chance go by, eventually your heart will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton.  So...Go and get him, for pete's sake!"


The film is fantastic: tight camera angles, beautiful cinematography, and oh, so quotable.  Yet, as one might expect, I personally connect to Amelie.  Her isolated childhood, peculiar system of justice, and even her solution to uniting with her love.  The latter is unique and all her own.  "Any normal girl would call the number, meet him, return the album and see if her dream is viable.  It's called a reality check.  That's the last thing Amelie wants."  Yep, that's me.  In fact, my weblog often reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from the film: "Amelie still seeks solitude.  She amuses herself with silly questions about the world below, such as 'How many people are having an orgasm right now'? [scenes of various orgasms taking place]  Fifteen," she concludes.  For this Gal, 99% of my weblog posts start with an emotion, a pounding in my heart, a feeling I want to express, a longing just out of reach, so I find little questions to amuse myself with.  Little ways to veil the issue.  Pass time.  Hope that what is in my heart is understood and maybe even returned.  That's why I love Amelie.  At the moment, I'm still struggling, like our Heroine, with how to put action to feeling. How to drown out the fears.  I don't know.  I need some help.  For now, I'll content myself with writing this post, saying my prayers, and remembering "my bones aren't made of glass.  You can take life's knocks.  If you let this chance go by, eventually your heart will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton.  So...Go and get him, for pete's sake!"


This one of my favorite scenes.  Much of my childhood was marked by similar deceptions and then my taking passive aggressive revenge.  Hell, I still wear Amelie's look today.

4 comments:

  1. Ive just watched Amelie and Ive fallen a little bit in love with her, those big brown soulfull eyes! Im a guy so Im probably not supposed to say I like this film...

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    1. Oh, no, just the opposite, you liking Amelie means you've got great taste (in my humble opinion) =)

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  2. I am totally in love with this movies. And I like your article a lot :').

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