Innovation at its finest. I mean, who would not want to own a piano that distills alcohol with the touch of a piano key? That was Colin’s (played by Romain Duris) newest pride and invention. The film Mood Indigo revolves around Colin, a Parisian inventor, whose life revolves around his inventions. He had never worked a day in his life until he met the woman who would drastically change his life.
The world that Michael Gondry, the director, created for this film is one that is mind-boggingly surreal. It was difficult to screen the film without asking the question “what is going on?” after every scene. For those who are not into surrealism, the whimsical elements of this film can be distracting. Under all of the whimsical elements, there is a reality that exists and is the most captivating aspect of this film. The love story that blossomed between Colin and Chloe (played by Audrey Tautou) deeply contrasts with the world that they live in. Their happy moments and struggles alike is nothing short of realistic. Even though their surroundings put them in an unrealistic bubble, they went through the same circumstances that others would in real life. This is specifically evident when Colin’s wife, Chloe, got sick. Granted her sickness is also a condition that is unheard of (a water lily growing in her lungs), the effect that it had on her, on Colin, and on their relationship is relatable.
Furthermore, the viewers see a complete turn of events when Colin had to search for a job and force himself to endure hours of lying naked on a pile of dirt. His lifestyle change, then became obvious when Nicolas, his assistant and chef, served him an uncooked eel. This is a significant part of the film because from the beginning of it and throughout, there was a focus on the food that Colin ate. It was always an over the top feast for one to two people. So, when Nicolas failed to serve him that type of meal, it was evident that he was suffering from reality.
In Greek, the name Chloe means “a fresh blooming.” Those struggles emerged after her met Chloe. Therefore, she was the key that broke into his fantasy world and brought him to reality. He went from a carefree man whose only reason for wanting a partner was that his two friends had one each to a man who would give his whole life to the woman he loves. Needless to say, Chloe changed not only him, but also the world that he lives in. The love that he had for her drove him to realize the reality of situations and broke him out of his perfect fantasy world.
Chloe, however, succumbs to her illness and leaves Colin’s world. This leaves the viewers to wonder what will become of Colin. The unpredictability of this ending is due to the imaginary element that played a huge role in the first half of the film. Colin’s carefree world, and his perfect love story could not have given away that ending. In addition, Colin was never alone. If he was not with his trusty assistant Nicolas, he was with his good friend Chick. After meeting and falling in love with Chloe, they became inseparable; Even during those times when he desperately tried running away from his shadow, he couldn’t. Chloe, again, indirectly changes this about him. He decided to send her to the mountains and he stayed back to work for her treatment. This film, on the surface, is a love story about two people who instantly fell for each other. I dispute, though, that it is a story about a man who meets a woman who drastically changed his life.