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(Review originally written at 28 November 2008)

I didn't know what to expect from this movie in advance but as it turned out it was a very charming little movie, that has a sweet naive little main character and a cute original love-story.

The movie begins as a formulaic one in which a girl meets a boy and basically immediately falls in love with him. However when the movie starts to progress more it becomes obvious that the movie is not taking the most obvious and expected path. About halve way through the movie makes a turn, which makes the overall approach of the movie and its story quite original, especially for the '50's usual genre standards.

The movie is perhaps at time being told as a modern fairytale. I think this was done to show the story from the eyes of the young main character, who is a bit of a naive girl still. Amazing thing about the movie its main love story is that the main character falls in love with a man not thanks to his charm but through the puppets he plays. Sounds really wrong and cheesy but in the movie itself it works out surprisingly well and effective. The man is not that good at showing his true feelings and emotions and uses his different puppets as an outlet of his emotions and to show the girl in his own way he cares about her. The girl, naive as she is, doesn't really see the man behind the puppets but starts to believe in her own mind that the puppets are real and her only true friends in life. No matter how bad I'm probably making it sounds right now, it works out really well and charming for the movie.

There is something else odd about this movie. The entire movie is set indoors and at the same locations but yet the movie has such a sense of freedom and freshness, as if its set in an open field, with hills with flowers on it. This is probably more to the fairytale approach of the story that gives the movie this feeling and overall atmosphere.

It all makes "Lili" such a perfectly light and enjoyable movie to watch. Yes, it in a way also sort of makes this a redundant one, I mean this movie by no means is a true essential viewing and easily one you could do without. But when you do decide to watch you'll be perfectly entertained by it all and grabbed by the movie its charm. This movie also must had been a real surprise at its own time. It's a fairly low budget movie and without any big names in it, or behind the camera's but yet the movie earned a total of 6 Oscar nominations and not in the least categories. It only won one though, for its music.

It's also of course thanks to the movie its cast that the movie works out that way. The actors all play their characters in a charming, though yet very formulaic way but without ever feeling over-the-top and not very likely.

Really charming 'modern' fairytale.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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