|BE KIND REWIND
||[Feb. 25th, 2008|02:19 pm]
No one else amongst my LJ universe has reviewed it so far so I'll take a quick crack at "BE KIND REWIND":|
I've been a Gondry fan for some time but as wonderful as "Eternal Sunshine" and "The Science of Sleep" were, they seemed to be missing something, for me. Emotional depth? Coherence?
"Be Kind Rewind" marks the point where he has finally hit the mark. The plot is absurd. Individual things that happen, like Mos Def puzzling over a 4 word phrase written backward before seeing what it says -- are just ridiculous as part of any naturalistic narrative that if you think about it, you'll never make sense of it.
But in the end that doesn't matter. Gondry has gone all French on us -- the script is naive and nonsensical as a comment on movie making. In effect, the script calls attention to its own slapdash artifice even as the people performing it commit entirely to it. I won't go all Po Mo on you, dissecting the symbology and dialectic of the movie. Let's just say there's a lot more fun to be had suspending disbelief and going with it, you can dissect how Gondry plays with you the next day.
The image I find most emblematic of the movie is when Alma is trying to build a prop piano for Fats Waller to play, and instead of keys, she has black and white people stick their fingers through to be the black and white keys. Thhis is so heartbreakingly lovely that to explain how it's lovely lessens its loveliness.
"Be Kind Rewind" is a movie that has something that belies the scrambled, half-self-deconstructed mirror shenanigans of its plot and characters: It combines childlike sweetness with a big heart. There isn't an
ironic or sarcastic moment in the whole movie. I love my irony as much as the next guy, but sometimes it can be a relief to take a vacation from it.