Two bumbling store clerks inadvertently erase the footage from all of the tapes in their video rental store. In order to keep the business running, they re-shoot every film in the store with their own camera, with a budget of zero dollars.
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In Passaic, NJ, Elroy Fletcher runs a video store in a condemned building he claims was the birthplace of Fats Waller. Fletcher goes on a Waller centennial trip, leaving his foster son Mike in charge of the store. Mike's peculiar friend Jerry tries to sabotage a power station and nearly electrocutes himself, getting magnetized in the process. He inadvertently erases every tape in the store. Mike and Jerry hatch an plan to hide the disaster by making a homemade "Ghostbusters" to rent to a woman whom Fletcher will be phoning to check on them. Soon, with help, their homemade versions of films develop a cult following. Will this new business save the store and the building? What about Fats? Written by
An Excellent Tribute To The Video Cassette Generation and Film-making
'Be Kind Rewind' has already become one of my favourite films of the year. It's funny. It's charming. It's nostalgic. It's awkward. It's unique and it's moving. The entrance of DVDs to our lives have lead to the rapid extinction of video cassettes but does one remember the days of renting, collecting and watching those big tapes? Rewinding them and forwarding them? Something small but one that I find fascinating. While 'Be Kind Rewind' pays respect to that generation, it's also a wonderful tribute to film-making in general. All the classic movies and blockbusters this film refers to are some of the most memorable movies that played during the VHS days and, in a way, 'Be Kind Rewind' is a superb homage to those films. Just watch all the sweded 'refilming' of, for example, 'Driving Miss Daisy' with Danny Glover and Mia Farrow, 'Ghostbusters' and 'Rush Hour 2' with Jack Black and Mos Def...and so many more hilarious surprises. 'Be Kind Rewind' also explores what it is about cinema that fascinate the ordinary man.
Gondry's writing is just as great as his direction. Everything fits together excellently. The comedy and drama blend smoothly. Michel Gondry's screenplay is impeccable. The dialogues are laugh out loud and never out of place. The characters are genuinely heartwarming, goofy and lovable.
The performances are heartfelt and fantastic. A wacky Jack Black, an endearing Mia Farrow (who's a science fiction fan), a very impressive Mos Def (I was very impressed by his comic timing), a humbly naive Danny Glover, a vivacious Melonie Diaz, Sigourney Weaver as an inspector in charge (with a touch of comedy) and many more talented actors make a terrific ensemble.
Gondry has tackled a lot of themes like a strong sense of community, people's love for movies, people being accustomed to old technology (as a result to which they sometimes have difficulty moving on to more updated sources), reviving loved artists who have vanished into oblivion and the overall sense of doing something great together (like the last movie on Fat Waller's life). He tells the story skillfully. I liked that it ended on a bittersweet note but somewhat ambiguously. I was having so much fun and laughing out loud so many times that I didn't even care if it bothered other people.
Many people seem to have trashed this movie because it wasn't like 'Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind'. I'd like to tell those people to get over it. How can people even begin to compare too totally different films and then call one of them trash for not being like the other? I love both movies and to me, with 'Be Kind Rewind' Gondry proves to be a versatile director and my appreciation for him as a filmmaker has only increased.
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