Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Angel-A (directed by Luc Besson)

Always tell the truth and know that what’s on the inside matters more. Did Luc Besson swallow a self-help manual? This film was funny and airy enough to hold my attention and captivate with the ridiculous. It was shot in black and white and Paris looked ethereally quiet throughout. With lots of symbolic dark and light, this suited it well and gave it a film noir twist with its lustrous femme fatale like angel and dark oddball sidekick.

Add desperation, attempted suicide, debt, low self esteem, throw in a beautiful angel that chain smokes and makes you look in a mirror and say ‘I love you’ and you have a brilliant film with a message, one that often no ones wants as it assumes some responsibility for ‘shit happens’ and most want to blame everything and everyone for their downfall.

The dialogue intrigues blithely and the film noir humour hits and misses with a shadowy off balance of male/earthly and female/heavenly dynamic; overall it succeeds in its effervescent way. Perhaps the critics are more the disgruntled that don't like art house movies being too commercial or Americanised and particularly led by a supermodel with questionable acting ability. I thought everything about this was unclouded fairy tale entertainment; I liked Angela (Rie Rasmussen) and Andre (Jamel Debbouze) and that is most important for me. He was a short man with many failings and she was his beautiful angel set on a mission to rescue him.

Yes, some shots were a little fashion house but of course they were with a super attractive angelic flouncing around Paris. At no point was anything gratuitous or voyeuristic, her beauty there as a polar opposite of the likeable but compromised proportions and life skills of Andre.

A princess that kisses a frog, an angelic and mortal love affair; shot beautifully in the most romantic city of the world, it amounts to something very pleasing to look at with a message of speak your truth and recognise your own worth.

It also reminded me of being told I was comically tall (how rude!) in a bar once but actually now I see why, especially in the shots of Angela and Andre walking over Parisian bridges at twilight; the director plays well on this. There is a lot of comedy to be had by simply putting a very tall lady next to a short man.

Give it a go if you missed it the first time and like films with angels (clue: It's a Wonderful Life and Wings of Desire)

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