Sunday, 6 March 2016

Film Review - Belleville Rendez-vous (Sylvain Chomet, 2003)

Fig 1. Belleville Rendez-vous Poster.

Belleville Rendez-vous (The Triplets of Belleville) is a film about the Tour de France and a boy who grows up and competes in it. During the event however, he is taken hostage and transported to america where he is forced, along with two other riders, to take part in a bizarre cycling based betting game. He is later rescued by his grandmother and dog in a daring escape from the american mob bosses who ran the ring. 

Fig 2. Bodyguard Characters.

The character design in this film is particularly noteworthy as it takes many of its characters shapes and behavior to their absolute extreme. From the rectangular mob bodyguards (See Fig 2) to the overly bendy waiter, there are many, many characters who have their own unique look and behavior which points directly at their nature. The complete lack of subtlety in the cast makes this film's world feel completely alien. While there are many locations and references in the film that make it feel like this world, the overall skewed style throughout instead turns it into a parallel or a parody.

Fig 3. Waiter Character.

There is almost no dialogue throughout the story, which is an impressive feat as most of the plot is clearly shown to the audience even though that has the potential to be a drawback. Despite this however, there are some smaller details which could be lost to someone viewing this for the first time, the films unique storytelling techniques and visual cues can be tough to get used to if unprepared.

When taking in the entirety of the world this film views, it is so unique and skewed and bizarre that everything from the locations to the characters are intricately detailed caricatures. These come together harmoniously to visualize a curious and in some cases ludicrous reality.

Illustration List
Chomet, S (2003) Figure 1. Belleville Rendez-vous Poster.,-Les--Belleville-Rendez-Vous-.jpg (Accessed on 06/03/16)

Chomet, S (2003) Figure 2. Bodyguard Characters. (Accessed on 06/03/16)

Chomet, S (2003) Figure 3. Waiter Character. (Accessed on 06/03/16)

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