Delicatessen (1991)

directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet & Marc Caro
with: Pascal Benezech, Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, and Karin Viar

Delicatessen is about a retired circus-man that takes a job at a building with a deli where the butcher serves tenants and falls in love with the butcher's daughter.

Delicatessen is a movie that falls in the delicate line of being brilliant or dull. At times the movie impressed me with it's cleverness and witty details, but sometimes the cleverness was interrupted by unnecessary stupidity that was frustrating. I have to admit that the blend of humor, mystery and romance are entertaining and that the first half is very interesting, but parts of the second half were a mess. The movie gave me the feel that it was a story written by children, supervised by a crazy cartoonist, for adults. It sure has some mature content and interesting ideas, but it left me with a feeling of dissatisfaction. The way that time is treated in the movie somehow didn't feel right, but the way the colors are used is perfect, and so are many of the shots. Delicatessen has some beautiful scenes and mise-en-scenes; memorable imagery that make it unique and easily identifiable. It is a fair debut and a good concept that I believe could have been better presented.

My favorite scene is the one where the butcher is having sex and everything in the building moves at the same rhythm, which probably means that the butcher is in control and above all the tenants. Jeunet later reuses this idea in Amelie.

Worth a look.
Rating: 6.25/10

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