In a world of troubles, we all seem so small. How could any of us ever confront the gigantic forces of evil that propagate violence for the sake of corporate profits? A person would be crazy to even try.
In his comic film Micmacs, French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet has created just the man to do the unlikely, Bazil, the victim of a street shooting. With a bullet lodged in his brain and remembering that his father was killed three decades earlier by a land mine, Bazil is eager to destroy the companies that made the bullet and the land mine. Discovering the rival company headquarters facing each other across a busy Paris street, his bullet-damaged brain hatches a plan. He and his new friends, recycling outcasts living under a refuse heap under a freeway, will trick the arms makers into destroying each other.
For the sake of comedy, the director makes the security personnel for both companies rather easy to fool. Bazil and his team progress quite far with their high jinks before their plans unravel. Then it is time for plan B, which is more elaborate and complicated than all the preceding action. I found it all delightfully unpredictable.
Jeunet is an obvious student of film. In its review, National Public Radio described Micmacs as a cross between Mission: Impossible and Toy Story. One of the members of our film discussion group compared it to Roadrunner cartoons. Another remarked how every one of Bazil's friends - Slammer, Calculator, Elastic Girl - was a down-and-out superhero; the efforts of each was needed to achieve the goal. I was reminded of The Sting, as even the audience is tricked by the film.
Micmacs is a fantasy with a longing for justice, questioning the ethics of wealthy nations prospering from the violent conflicts they enable. Available in DVD, it has slowly develop a great following and may become a cult classic. It is worthy.
Micmacs. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2010. ISBN 9786313898503.