Not the usual film review because I Lost My Body (2019) is not the usual film.
Animated – different.
French – a bit different.
Main character a severed hand – very different.
Have I lost you already? That’s as I felt when briefly reading of what we were about to watch. Early on, I didn’t feel much differently but I Lost My Body gradually crept up on me; gathered me in.
Rather like the character of the hand, it pursued relentlessly through a story that seemingly had two completely different plots with a bit of background story explaining one of them. The two eventually co-joined and became enjoyable, worthy.
However, it was a bit of a slog; a journey of endurance rather than enjoyment.
Nauofel lives with his parents but through tragedy is sent to his non-communicating uncle and cousin-brother-fellow boarder (?). He falls in love with a voice on an apartment intercom, Gabrielle, and begins a pursuit, verging on stalking. He begins work in her uncle Gigi’s carpentry workshop and meets the niece face-to-face. Potential love ensues.
Meanwhile, somewhere else in Paris, a severed hand escapes from a dissection laboratory and begins a journey across the city towards an unknown quest.
It is the difference between the two stories that probably made the love story a bit standard? While the adventures of the hand are many and intricate, the relationship between Nauofel and Gabrielle is pedestrian.
Eventually, the hand finds Nauofel and the stories mesh.
I Lost My Body is a tale of loss and attempt at rediscovery. The hand is looking for the wrist to which it used to be very close; Nauofel is looking for love – the reasons explained in the background scenes.
Many club members saw some really deep meaning in I Lost My Body but Prue blew me away with her assessment. By leaping onto the crane at film’s end, Nauofel was leaping to a new life on his own. No need for Gabrielle; no need for the hand. I love that assessment.
Some trivial background which goes nowhere towards explaining this film:
-Co-screenwriter Guillaume Laurant also co-wrote the screenplay for the delightfully, whimsical Amelie (2001), which starred real people
-In the English version, Dev Patel plays Nauofel (thanks to Bill)
-In the French version, Gabrielle is played by Victoria du Bois. She played Chiara, the teenage, female love interest in the beautiful Call Me By Your Name (2017)
–I Lost My Body won the Critics’ Prize at Cannes, the first animated film to do so.
-TV references were made to Thing from The Addams Family (1964-66) but I preferred to recall the Martin Landau character Rollin Hand from the original Mission Impossible 1966-73).