(Review originally written at 15 September 2010)

It took me awhile but here is finally a Jacques Tati that I honestly enjoyed watching and appreciated. I have not be very kind before for any of his movies because they were subtle comedies that were just being too subtle and therefore worked out as slow and boring ones for me, that just weren't very funny at all.

This movie is basically just like Jacques Tati's other work as well, which means that it has lots of slapstick humor but is being a real subtle one as well. It often takes its time to set up its humor, meaning that some sequences really go on for a long time. However in this case this movie does everything much better and way more effective, comedy-wise, making this a very pleasant and amusing movie to watch.

Just like especially Jacques Tati's previous movie "Mon oncle", this movie seems to criticize a lot and is often being a social satire. This time this as well works out better in this movie than in any of his other ones. In "Mon oncle" and in this movie he both makes fun of modern technology, with as a big difference that the technology used in this movie is actually something that really existed and got used. It therefore works out for better and more effective as a satire. The movie is also really kicking against the modern world in general. Architecture, technology, tourism, people's behavior, nothing is safe from Jacques Tati's satire. It seems a bit ridicules, all of the things that Tati's is criticizing with his movie, since you can't really say that all of those changes that were brought into the modern, technological filled world, were all for the worse. But anyway, it all works rather amusing for this movie.

It's actually being one of Jacques Tati's longest movies but yet it's far from his most boring one. Even though the movie is still often slowly paced, there is always something real good happening. The timing and running gags in this movie all work out really well and it's humor is really what keeps this movie going.

There really isn't a story in this. It's not a point of criticism though, since the movie is simply not about having a story in it. The way the entire movie flows and progresses doesn't always even make much sense once you really start to focus on it. I actually quite like this movie for not having a story in it. It makes the humor and the entire madness of the movie work out all the better really.

And the movie can get real crazy at times. The end sequences in the restaurant in which all of the guest and employees are slightly starting to loose it and start misbehaving themselves more and more is absolutely great and a wonderful finale for the movie. It really goes on for a long time and gets build up wonderfully. It all starts out slow and normal but then the one guest enters and the other and another and more problems start to arise. Really, this sequence alone is more than enough reason to watch this movie. But by saying this I feel that I don't give the rest of the movie enough credit as well. It's filled with some wonderful fun moments and great comedy timing and overall execution of it all.

It besides is a beautiful looking one as well. It's a movie that got set mostly deliberately indoors. I don't know how much was set and how much was real but either way it's all wonderful looking. The movie has a bit of surreal feel and atmospheric vibe to it all, which I really liked.

A Monsieur Hulot movie that I really enjoyed.


About Frank Veenstra

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