Amélie

Amélie ★★★★★

One of the most adorable, original & sweetest films ever made, Amélie (Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) is a beautifully crafted, exquisitely told & gorgeously rendered story about the simple pleasures in life that are usually far more valuable than we deem it to be and throughout its runtime, all it attempts to do is to make us pause & admire those small wonders that abound around us at all times.

Presenting its peculiar story with irresistible charm & incomparable wonderment, Amélie is a celebration of life that is captured with such charm that every single frame of it is an aesthetically appeasing and with its insanely magical blend of all aspects, it also triumphs as arguably the finest effort to come out from 21st century French industry and is accomplished enough to rank amongst the greatest films of both its decade & all time.

The story concerns an innocent, young & extremely shy woman in her early twenties who, after making a surprising discovery in her apartment one day and using it for a certain good deed which pays off immensely well, dedicates herself to helping others find joy & happiness in their own lives in the most unexpected yet delightful manners while struggling with the isolation of her very own life.

Co-written & directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who incorporated pages of his own life into the script, the film is rendered on screen in a style that's unusual yet fresh and also defies conventions. Throughout its runtime, it ponders on scenes that seem irrelevant to the narrative at hand and yet without those little snippets, it wouldn't be the same thing, for those moments add great dollops of sweetness to the picture and this level of unusualness is evident in nearly every aspect.

The screenplay is just as marvellous with best parts being how it opens the story, introduces all its characters, paces the narrative & keeps it all glued together. Cinematography in itself is a heartwarming delight that exhibits rich, resonant & remarkable use of colour palette that captures Paris in vivid detail. Editing provides a steady pace to the whole picture and although its 122 mins runtime sounds fair, I wish this beautiful ride never ended.

Coming to the performances, Audrey Tautou as Amélie Poulain is adorable beyond belief and effortlessly manages to win hearts with her extraordinary performance. Beautifully capturing the innocent, naive & shy nature of her character, it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the titular role coz Audrey proves to be the very embodiment of Amélie as if she was born to play her. The sweet & lovely Flora Guiet also deserves a mention, for she was just as amazing as young Amélie.

Last but not the least is Yann Tiersen's mesmerising score that further elevates the joyous, cheerful & pleasant ambience present in the film and, together with other aspects, succeeds in transcending its viewers to an otherworldly experience for a couple hours. Storytelling is unique, performances are superb, music is evocative and direction is impressive throughout. And so, it's safe to state that this film delivers on all fronts.

On an overall scale, Amélie is a celebration of selfless good deeds, the joy of little things, the satisfaction one gets in making a person smile and how our actions can really inspire & change someone’s life forever. A whimsical journey & a life-altering drama that remains one of the most heartening & gratifying film experiences of my life, this is one cinematic gem that left me smiling like a maniac and I do mean it when I say that "Without Amélie, today's cinema would be the scurf of yesterday's". One hundred percent recommended.

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