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Anders Baasmo Christiansen
This is a satirical black comedy about the hedonistic excesses of the prima donnas of the advertising world. Octave (Jean Dujardin) is the king of this world, feted and pampered, idolised by his entourage, showered with drugs, women and money, his life is one long over indulgent party, punctuated by the occasional brush with reality.
He comes down to earth with a bump when his girlfriend announces that she is pregnant, but unable to deal with the consequences of this real life problem, he takes flight into even more excessively decadent diversions. More parties, more drugs, more indolence. However his body inevitably calls "time out" from this constant abuse, and when he is hospitalised with an overdose, he begins to take stock of his life.
The film is full to bursting, overflowing with creative ideas. The imaginative, highly original and sometimes shocking imagery is rivetingly good. There are psychedelic graphics, animations, dreamlike fantasies, and collages of advertising slogans and magazine clippings all used to great effect.
Billed as a comedy, there is little humour, and what there is is very dark indeed. Whilst this film excels in raw creativity and inventiveness, it lacks a story. This probably explains why there are two endings, neither of which, in my opinion, works adequately. But it doesn't really matter, as there is so much on offer visually, that I was completely transfixed.
The name of the yoghurt manufacturer "Madone" is coincidentally similar to another well-known yoghurt "Danone" but also reads in English "Mad One". A tongue in cheek parody of the absurdities of the modern world of advertising which regrettably rings true on many fronts.
A clever, thoroughly modern film, which even a grumpy old man like me could enjoy!
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