For almost 15 years now I have maintained that the car heist film Gone in 60 Seconds was the worst film ever made. Although admittedly a distant memory, I fondly recall laughing at it with derision and incredulity, initially to myself but eventually out loud,
occasionally looking around at my fellow viewers to see if it was just me or what, until finally, when Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie started allegedly inflaming each other’s passions by naming engine parts in ridiculous husky voices – “clutttch…drrrive shafffft…fuel innnJECtion” – I guffawed a little too loud and was (mercifully) driven out of the theatre by an angry mob of adolescents hurling confectionery and shouting “Duuuude! Shut up!!”.
Even against this caliber of competition however, Mood Indigo (2013) has lowered the bar to such depths that it’s difficult to imagine a film ever being able to crawl under it again. The latest offering from French director Michel Gondry was billed as a ‘fantasy’, but I suspect that’s because billing it appropriately as ‘torture’, might have had an adverse impact on audience numbers. If ‘fantasy’ is the correct term for a story that appears to have been cobbled together using the best ideas from a demented circus clown and a precocious but maniacally depressed child, then fantasy it is.
Some films make you think, some make you laugh or cry, some impart information or a controversial idea. Good films do more than one thing. Ten minutes in, this film makes you want to go to the snack bar for popcorn and then eat it in the car. Despite every instinct in my body screaming at me to leave the cinema for the last hour and 15 minutes of this two hour plus train wreck, I resisted. Even knowing that French films often end without resolution, I watched this to its conclusion only because I sincerely believed that no sane director could possibly end a film on the bleak, miserable and pointless note to which it was blatantly heading. The only message I was able to derive from this film was that life can sometimes be pretty miserable; and no one needs a film director to tell them that. Although it did raise questions for me, they were unfortunately: “How did they ever raise funding for this?; Did Audrey Tautou actually read the script before signing on?; and I wonder if I can get my money back?”
I would rather gargle battery acid than watch this film again. Zero stars.