A man has everything: dozens of servants, a palace, vast woods, gardens, a lake, mechanical toys, private entertainment troupes of musicians and dancers. He has it all - but love. When ... See full summary »
Uneven final film from Jacques Tati alternates from good to deadly dull. While it contains some great bits, this is probably for Tati complete-ists only
Those looking for the sustained genius of Jacques Tati need to look else where. This is a wildly uneven filmed record of a circus performance. Tati acts as master of ceremonies and performs some of his music hall routines, while other circus people do their things. We also watch as "off stage", but plainly in view, the performers get ready for their routines and prepare props and paintings. Its an uneven mix that swings from very clever (hockey team with string quartet or the magic tricks) to dull (some of Tati's bits and say the polka band). Its best to have the remote ready.
As I said at the start, those looking for the magic of the earlier Tati films are bound to be disappointed. That said there are some moments that are pure Tati such as some of the shots showing the audience filing in and being an audience, no one would dare show people being people other than Tati. There are some wonderful throw aways, the motorcycle helmets, the people trying to get into the right "studio" that play like deleted scenes from Playtime or M. Hulot's Holiday. They are small seconds long bits but they make wading through the dull spots worth it.
Probably the weakest of all the films Tati made, its still worth a look for those who need to get a fix of Jacques Tati. I'd recommend renting it rather than buying it simply because its probably not going to be something you'll watch again, or repeatedly.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?