Détour follows the story of a young girl's tricycle, which gets lost as a French family leaves home for their summer holiday. After becoming accidentally separated from the family, the ... See full summary »
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.
One of the other reviews here is very negative. That review's author uses terms like "self- indulgent" to describe this film.
That term is totally accurate. This movie is the definition of self-indulgence. A series of edited interviews is played while hand-drawn animations form and transform on the screen. That's the film. It sounds ridiculous.
But it drew me in and captivated me. The topics range from linguistic theory, Noam Chomsky's views on various things, and musings about his childhood. Gondry's own thoughts and interpretations, also included, seemed to miss the mark fairly often. But I felt like Gondry's voice ended up adding something to the movie. He is someone trying to understand complex concepts: sometimes he gets it, sometimes it doesn't seem like he does. From what I've written so far, this movie may sound like a nightmare to you.
However, the whole concept was so original, and the drawings were engaging and interesting - - like a hand-drawn kaleidoscope with patterns that change depending on the topic being discussed. Gondry's thick french accent might distract some viewers, but I found it intelligible (there are also hand-drawn "subtitles" when he speaks, although I found them harder to read than I did to understand Gondry's accent). Chomsky has always struck me as a compelling speaker. He is soft-spoken but knows his lines (speaking figuratively) and makes his points well.
All in all a unique and surprisingly entertaining experience. 8/10
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