(Review originally written 3 February 2012)

This is definitely an uneven movie. At the one hand I liked the concept of the movie and it also was quite funny and original to watch, while at others the movie was being incredibly lame and even somewhat annoying.

It was definitely fun and interesting to see a modern take on the 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame' story, that very loosely still follows the Victor Hugo novel. The movie came up with some good original and fun stuff at times but it at the same time also made some very odd choices. For instance what was with the whole weird sexual type of relationship between Quasimodo and Frollo? It are these sort of odd decisions that also makes this a really bad movie to watch at times and makes you go; WHY?!

The casting was not that great either. Both Patrick Timsit (who also directed the movie) and Mélanie Thierry, as Quasimodo and Esméralda, mostly annoyed me, though on the other hand Richard Berry as Frollo was quite good and enjoyable. It's of course not just due to the casting or actors but also the script and dialog itself aren't always that great or clever, so sometimes some of the characters seem lacking.

A bit of a fun fact about this movie; even though it's a French production with of course some very French characters in it and a classic French story, the movie got entirely shot in Portugal. It was probably because filming in Paris can be a real pain and probably is very expensive as well. They most likely also couldn't get permission to film in- and outside of the Notre Dame, so they did a search for a church that looked similar enough and that's how they eventually ended up in Portugal. Most of the people watching this movie probably won't even notice but I have to say that while watching this movie I never got a French vibe from its atmosphere and environments. And I now finally learned why that was the case.

I still laughed and thought it was a funny movie for most of the time, so despite all the criticism I can still somewhat recommend it, though obviously not wholeheartedly.


About Frank Veenstra

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