In a fictitious world of washed out colors and sepia souls lies a ragged apartment in the middle of a run down city. Within this apartment lives our hungry tenants all eagerly watching through peepholes and windows listening to the Butcher who works below. The butcher puts an add in the paper every week seeking a new small jobs and maintenance man. Every week a new hungry young man looking for food and work stumbles onto the butcher's door step and every week the tenants of the apartment get fresh meat ata price.
I guess when living in a world of famine and starvation, people turn to desperate things.
The movie begins with the Butcher sharpening his knives in the kitchen. We, the camera, travel up the pipes of the old building to the second floor where nervously listening is the current maintenance guy(who has obviously been tipped on his fate). We notice this man is completely covered in trash and wears a brown bag with eye holes covering his head. When the time is right our escape artist throws himself in the trash hoping in his camouflage and praying for the garbage man not to notice an extremely heavy can. Well, needless to say we all know how this great escape ends...on the butcher's hooks.
Our next tenant and hero of the film is an ex clown and performer. What makes the clown different from the other walking Big Macs is his library of unusual skills, tools, and knowledge from the gag and tag days. Our friend the clown is also as we soon learn one of the few true good people left in the city.
But of course to throw the monkey in the wrench the clown falls gullibly in love with The Butcher's daughter.
This cinematic world is a dark one where the people living are convinced that life is in fact an ugly thing. Desperately scraping to get by, subdued by the government to the point that the only place to escape is to join the rag tag futile resistance living in the sewers.
The clown is the singing bird to the prison cell of this gloomy film. His character was a joy to watch and his innocence the glue that holds this dark depressing piece together.
Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet(Amelie, Very Long Engagement) tells yet another beautiful tale. I loved this film.
Check out the opening scene of this movie. It's a great intro and will give you a good taste of the vibes and flavors of the film.