The Umbrellas of Cherbourg ★★★½

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Recommended by: Grant

There's something real beautiful at the very core of this film. Jacques Demy really accomplished something unique. The shear color palette and music is a gorgeous amalgamation of talent that really crescendos on the eyes and ears. The vibe that the film opened with gave me excitement and joy that a lot of films wish they could accomplish. I am easily manipulated by pretty music, what can I say? Even if that's only for a short period of time. I'm sad to say that moment in the beginning was the most joyful experience I had throughout the entire film.

I love me some musicals, but I also love the spectacle of musicals. Those sequences where the film steps away from reality and has some fun or some heart embracing the inner spirit of the characters in song and dance. This film never really has moments like that and stays grounded despite all the dialogue being sung. Though I think the choice is intriguing I can't say I completely love that choice. It began to feel more like a novelty than a bold choice even though I think the film benefited from being sung. Frankly, I don't think the story would have worked in a non-musical setting but I also wondered what would have happened if Demy decided to break this world even for a few minutes to bring the house down. I don't know if it would have been better but it's something I seek in musicals.

I will say that there was this existential theme throughout that I think really was done quite well in this film. I'd argue that the antagonist of Umbrellas isn't one individual person but rather time itself. Time corrodes and withers everything. Everything has a shelf life and a life limit which can be manipulated by outside forces but always comes to its end. There really is only so much you can do when all you have between two people is time apart. 730 days is a long time and a lot can happen in that time. You are likely not the same person after 730 days especially in your youth. Those things you valued and thought would mean the world might mean nothing in 730 days. Its one of the great tragedies of life: nothing lasts forever. Don't wait to do the things you love with the people you love, reach out and do them while you still have that passion and care for that. Make sure time doesn't take that away from you.

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