Type: Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 579
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The art of film making consists in the most original use of known techniques in order to state a director’s message. Conventions are language in which cinema speaks to the viewers, yet being unconventional in the end makes it outstanding. Amelie, a French film of 2001 directed by Jean Jennet, is a perfect illustration to the idea that all elements of film making can reinforce each other and create a totally original and charming piece of art.

The genre of the film cannot be named a traditional one, although romantic comedy is the most adequate classification for the film. Such elements as humor and irony combined with a romantic love plot and happy ending make it possible to refer the film to this genre. A narrator is present in the film, which turns it into a more epic fairy tale type of a story, which is also reinforced by some fantasy elements. The combination of realistic irony and bitter, at times black, humor with sheer romanticism and naivety is a characteristic of Amelie, which makes it original and going beyond the framework of any genres. “Although the basic plot of the film describes a typical romantic comedy, Jeunet rises above this formula by rounding out the story with the colors, sounds, and textures of everyday life, most successfully in the lists of characters’ ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ related in voice-over at the beginning of the film.”. Speaking about the genre, it should be noted that because of symbolism and archetypes it is close to a fairy tale. Thus, Amelie’s discovery of a magic box with artifacts is a symbol of a new life, which becomes full with a totally different sense. Before this event, Amelie is an introvert self-centered girl, unable to deal with other people. Finding the box symbolizes both challenge and opportunity, it tells her a story about the world, which is larger than she used to imagine. Transformation of a character by means of a magical helper or a device is a typical motif that is used in a fairy-tale, and so is the case with Amelie. When she starts being interested in other people, she eventually finds her own identity and her own happiness. Another interesting symbol is a garden gnome, a favorite of Amelie’s father, who can be considered a living fairy-tale character. In fact, he is an alter-ego of the man whose personality has become so rigid that he cannot stand any change in his life. Like the gnome made of stone and confined to his place near the house, he cannot afford moving and living a full life. Amelie’s making the gnome ” travel” to different countries and sending photos to her father symbolizes the process of transformation and discovery, which is inevitably painful but also rewarding. The motif of doubles is also an archetypal one that refers the film to a fairy-tale genre.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that Amelie is unique by making all elements of film making work for the same message. Music, camera, plot, lightening and characters are closely related and equally important to the film’s success, and they create a totally unique genre. The film goes beyond of romantic comedy genre because it manages to use conventional elements in an unconventional way, and being of French origin, it does not attach the plot to Hollywood standards. The absence of fear about being excessive — excessively bizarre, excessively ironic or excessively romantic- is a key element of the film’s success.

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