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Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélié Poulain Review

Starring Audrey Tautou

This is one of the most  famous French movies ever and so I’ve decided to give it a go. To summarise it to the simplest point, it’s about how this young woman Amelie changed the lives of those around her by secretly doing things to help them. She helped strike up a love connection at her workplace between a druggist and a beer drinking grouch; she sent her dad’s garden troll around the world as a way to convince her dad to travel around the world etc. Her kindhearted strategies aimed to help those around her to be happier and she succeeded.. but what about her own dreams and desires?

I study French as a third language in school so I’m not that good in it but I’ve survived. I like French as a language and since I’m free from examinations, I’ve decided to try out those famous French movies that I’ve heard. To be honest, when I first watched a french movie, I had a shock — French movies exhibit an entirely different feel as compared to those American films. I wouldn’t say they’re strange, but I was taken aback. Yet, as I explore this different culture, I’ve decided to coin French movies with a different word other than strange and that’s "quirky", quirky in a good way too.

Amelie was quirky for me I will admit. Yet, I have a feeling it’s precisely of it’s quirkiness that got itself a name. Amelie was someone that most people could identify with. Everyone has their own strange habits and quirks, and to see Amelie portraying those habits kind of struck a chord in me. People can relate.

I hesitate to give too much of my opinion because firstly, this is a good movie and I wouldn’t say that I can do justice no matter what I write. Also, I have not watched enough French films to be able to compare. Lastly, I believe the essence of words and meaning might have been lost through the process of translation. I can understand French [ well, a little through hearing] but I put on the subs just in case and in the end I really enjoyed this movie. In a sense, there is not much of a plot present in this movie; it’s just about how Amelie helped other people, and how someone she helped, helped her back in the end. However, it’s watching how those small attempts and schemes on her part can go a long way to change others lives.

Amelie showed me another perspective, though I might not necessarily agree with it. For example, in the movie, there’s a woman who was sad and depressed because her husband had an affair and died in an airplane accident together with his lover. For years, she lamented about the past where her husband and her were still loving. Amelie then read those letters that her husband wrote to her way back before he had an affair, and wrote a letter to the woman in the name of her husband, so as to convince her that his heart was with her even till his death. Now… usually I wouldn’t approve of this at all, because the husband did wrong. The husband cheated on her and broke her heart. What did he do right that the woman should forgive him? That was my first thought. Yet I guess, it’s better to put down the past and move on with your lives instead of getting stuck in the yesterday, and that’s what Amelie helped the woman to do.

This movie has gotten me thinking what I can do to help those around me. I may not be able to come up with smart schemes like Amelie, but a small kind act can go a long way.

Do watch it when you have time!

<3thoughtsramble
   – Thus, I leave with a quote from Amelie. Not inspirational like my usual quotes, but I still like it nevertheless-
     Failure teaches us that life is but a draft, a long rehearsal for story that will never play
 

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9 Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    it’s v.
    lol.. you totally got me by surprise with this post…it was kinda out of place and i LOVE it.
    i’m french by nationality btw… and honestly, i didn’t watch this movie until years after it was aired although it was BIG, like HUGE, in france… all my friends had watch it and for some reason, i didn’t… not because i didn’t like it but because i was afraid it wouldn’t live to the hype…
    in the end, it was my american friends in college who got me to watch it (how ironic really) and ive got to say that i was pleasantly surprised… i understand why it got as successful as it did.
    and don’t worry about being surprised by french movies… even french people find them weird sometimes… they definitely have some quirkiness, a bit like US indie movies, and a completely different style of acting… most of all, the films focus much more on cinematography than anything else… high school in france study filmography a lot and you get to see why some so-called boring movies were so acclaimed… it’s like american movies are like reading harry potter and french movies are more like reading hawthorne… the more the movie is boring, the more it has many things to write about… which is why amelie was so successful internationally because it’s one of those rare french movies which are both not boring AND cinematographically acclaimable.
    of course… this is a generalization…
    i guess one example of american movies that are somewhat like french movies would be before sunrise and before sunset… (i love them btw but they are not for everyone).
    and if you’re looking for more french movies to watch, i would recommend The Chorists… it’s a french movie but not too french that it’s easier to appreciate.
    there’s also jean de florette which was really famous. and of course, edith piaf.

    btw, did u see ep 15 teaser? squeeeeee

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    • You are French?:D That’s so cool!:DD

      Oh yep I get what you mean… That’s the reason why sometimes I avoid watching things that are so popular because I’m afraid that it will be a letdown instead.

      Oh I see.. Yep I generally thought that French movies place a lot of emphasis on good cinematography. Also, I think why French films might appear quirky to us is because there will be strange things that happened but it is taken to be normal in the movie, like statues talking in Amelie.

      I’m glad you like my review! I think I’m going to write a few more reviews on French films. I’ve just watched Le Petit Nicolas! I’m not sure if it’s famous or anything but the theatres in my country were showing it so I decided to watch it!

      Someone recommended Love Me If You Dare but when I heard the ending I didn’t want to watch anymore:O Have you heard of it before?

      Yep I’ve heard of The Chorists before! It is one of the French films that I want to watch definitely. Hope it’s good!:DD

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