Krank is an evil, created being who uses the Cyclops to kidnap children for him so that he can steal their dreams. Intrigued yet? One is the strongman at a street sideshow, who has adopted a street urchin as his younger brother, Denree. One is not much more than an adult child himself, having a simple brain, and when Denree is taken by the Cyclops, One must find him.
One finds himself tangled up with a band of street kids, thieves and pickpockets, who are enslaved by Siamese twins named la Pieuvre. He manages to enlist the help of Miette, one of the older girls in the gang. If you boiled the movie down to basics, it would be One and Miette looking for Denree, but City Of Lost Children is not a simple movie.
'City' is a complex and sometimes confusing film, but is so richly done and bizarrely plotted that it is entertainment at its surreal finest. Krank (Daniel Emilfork) was created, along with his 'brother', Irvin, who is nothing more than a brain in a green tinged fishtank. His 'mother' is a midget, and his 'brothers', five clones (all played by talented Dominique Pinon) wait on him hand and foot. Krank and his strange entourage live on a dark and creepy platform out in the ocean, surrounded by mines that protect them.
Back in the squalor of the city, One and Miette are pursued by the greedy la Pieuvre, who winds out utilizing the resources from her old circus days, a worn out opium addict with an amazing flea circus. His fleas are trained to inject a poison into targets, the fluid being activated when an old hand-cranked music box is played. And Miette winds out meeting a strange, fanatical man who lives underwater, salvaging treasures from the sea floor.
There are many, many fantastical things for you to see in this film, but I have a few words of caution before you begin. First of all, this is a French film, and the dialogue is French. I strongly recommend watching the movie in the original dialogue with English subtitles, rather than watching the dubbed version. You will loose a lot of emotion in the inadequately dubbed voices.
Don't expect feats of FX either. City Of Lost Children has the feel of a play, using expert sets and backdrops, and winds out being a visually stunning treat with good, old fashioned sets rather than a lot of CGI. The costumes are marvelous, the photography is stunning (note: Daniel Emilfork is rather evil looking anyway, with his bald head, large nose, and large teeth, but the camera is utilized in a curved view to make him even more menacing) but the script is a little bit disjointed. All of these features combined mark a distinctive feel of bizarreness throughout the entire film.
Also to note, there are a couple of amazing sequences in the film, one in which we follow the events caused by a single teardrop, and another where we follow the journey of a flea.
City Of Lost Children is a film only for those who enjoy a taste of the bizarre, love to stroke their fingers down the spine of the surreal, and believe that off-the-wall is a livable realm. If this is you, then you will love this film as much as I did. Enjoy!
**** out of **** The critics need to back off on this one. Real filmmakers do not make their art to please those who went to school so that they could write about movies and say what they must (or must not, since nobody is forcing them but their employers). Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's second feature, "The City of Lost Children", is a futuristic steampunk fantasy of wild imagination and ambition that crams so many ideas into one movie that it's understandable how it … more
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen, Alien Resurrection & Amelie) and his 1992 directing sidekick from Delicatessen, Marc Caro brings the dark, dank, rat-infested "City Of Lost Children" to life! All with the likes of one side-show travelling troupe strong-man, Mr. One played excellently by Beauty & The Beast's Ron Perlman, evil, pilfering, child corruptors and Fagin-like Siamese sisters joined by a third leg affectionately referred to as "The Octopus", and a manmade man who lacks … more
I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
Consider the Source
Use Trust Points to see how much you can rely on this review.