Monday, January 20, 2014

Angel A (2005)

Luc Besson's offbeat comedy romance fantasy is about a down on his luck con man who decides to kill himself, only to find himself rescuing a tall beautiful woman instead. The woman will do anything to help him and it soon become apparent that she is something more than human.

Shot in glorious black and white I don't know when Paris ever looked this good. It’s a glorious looking film that is a real treat to see. While watching this on DVD I had to take a couple of phone calls during the film so I paused the movie, only to find beautiful art print style pictures on my TV. Heavenly.

The plot line, of an angel helping out our stumble bum hero is a well-worn one. What’s different is how Besson plays it against expectations, clearly he's a man who needs a bit of help, but contrary to most films of this type he's not a complete idiot. He's a man who's been worn away by the world and who, like most of us, just needs someone to believe in him. In some ways the film reminded me of and would make a wonderful companion to Wings of Desire thanks to a similar love of humanity.

To be honest most of the plot of Andre needing to get money and Angela helping him doesn't really work all that well. Its clearly been put in place so that Andre and Angela have something to do. What shines through that is the interplay between the two characters. There is a real affection for each other. Indeed once the money plot goes by the wayside and we simply concentrates on the two leads (who are in almost every shot) the film becomes a wonderful touching tale. More than once a tear came to my eye as the two slowly began to crash into each other. Its wonderfully romantic.

A word of warning. This is an odd ball movie in a way. The film is not what you think it is, or rather it wasn't what I thought it was. About half way through I was tempted to restart the film and watch it again because I suddenly had the feeling that I was not liking the film as much as I was going to on the next go round. It was clear that the film was doing what it wanted and that I wasn't ready to take it on its own terms. I resisted the temptation, but I'm pretty certain that I'm going to like this better on the second go round. I have a feeling this is a film you like the first time and love the second.

Warnings and reservations aside I do recommend this film. If you can go with its vibe I think you'll have a really good time. As for me, it made me wish I had someone to love like that.

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