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|Originaltitel:||L`Ècume des jours|
|Genre:||Comedy, Tragicomedy, Drama, Romance|
|Laufzeit:||Ca. 94 min.|
|FSK:||From 12 years|
Colin (Romain Duris) is a wealthy daydreamer who spends his life spending crazy things, enjoying the arts of his cook and confidant Nicholas (Omar Sy) or indulging in his predilection for jazz and casual conviviality at parties. His life seems almost perfect. But he still lacks one thing for perfect happiness: true love. She runs into him at the birthday party of the poodle of a friend in the shape of the beautiful Chloé (Audrey Tautou). Between the two there is a huge radio and soon the wedding will be celebrated. Normally the sentence follows at this point: "And they lived happily and contentedly until the end of their days. But fate doesn't mean well with lovers. During her honeymoon Chloé gets very ill, because a water lily grows in her lungs. Doctors don't give her many chances of a full recovery. But so easily Colin wants to give up the great love he just found…
"The Foam of Days" is based on the French cult novel of the same name by Boris Vian. Published in 1947, the novel is still regarded today as extremely revolutionary and multi-layered. Since the love story between the wealthy idler Colin and the seriously ill Chloé is filled with many crazy ideas and absurdities, the book was long regarded as unfilmable. But in Michel Gondry, known for his bizarre playfulness, the perfect director was found to translate the spirit of the book into an appropriate visual language.
Whoever knows Gondry's films "Anleitung zum Träumen", "Vergiss mein nicht" or "Abtwreht" knows which surreal dream worlds the French filmmaker can conjure up on the screen without the help of computer effects. And also here Gondry uses all kinds of practical tricks with a charming childlike enthusiasm and only uses CGI-effects where it really seems necessary to him. Especially in the first fifteen minutes it's just fun to get lost in the playful fantasy world of Gondry, to discover the many loving and original, sometimes wonderfully spun details.
The actors' play also shows how much fun they had to be allowed to act in the sets, which were bubbling over with ideas. But unfortunately, this fun is only partly transferred to the viewer. If in earlier movies Gondry managed perfectly to integrate his ideas into the story in such a way that it doesn't kill the story, he didn't really succeed in doing so in "The Foam of Days". The viewer is literally beaten to death by strange inventions, bizarre dance interludes, talking mice, strange vehicles and playful details, so that what has made Gondrys films so charming, endearing and original up to now is only exhausting and tiring in the long run.
The story is degraded to a minor matter and can therefore hardly unfold its emotional effect. Whether it helps the film that in the international version it lacks almost 30 minutes of material compared to the French version, or whether it harms it, cannot be judged at this point. The fact is, however, that after 94 minutes one is glad that the overloaded hustle and bustle does not drag on any longer. On the other hand, it's also quite possible that the film would have been more coherent and not quite as exhausting with 30 minutes more action.
So or so, "The Foam of Days" is certainly a masterpiece from a purely visual point of view. But since Gondry doesn't succeed this time to tie the viewer emotionally to the story, the show value quickly wears off. Here, less would have been really clearly more. Those who are prepared to experience only a single picture rush in the typical Gondry style can confidently surrender to the "foam of days". But those who also hope to be carried away by history will probably leave the cinema uncharmed. But there is only one way to do this: with clear concessions worth seeing!
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