Genre: Comedy
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Stars: Dany Boon, Yolande Moreau, Dominique Pinon
Rating: *****

Call Micmacs a secret blockbuster.

This French bonbon is every bit as antic and explosive as those other summer rattlers, but you may have to stray out of your neighbourhood, your linguistic preference and your preconceived notions to find it.

Imagine a Mission: Impossible satire in which the likes of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd are acting as spies.

In this case, it’s Parisian street performers, who seek payback on two French arms dealers. These urban warriors are loyally supporting their new pal Bazil (Dany Boon), whose life has been inextricably and tragically linked to the arms merchants.

Micmacs is directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the mirthful mind behind Amélie. He co-wrote it with Guillaume Laurant, his Amélie co-scribe.

The movie is an amalgam of Jeunet’s two personalities: the starry-eyed celebrator of amour and Paris, as seen in Amélie, and the down-and-dirty trawler of the weird and grotesque, as witnessed in Delicatessen, an earlier film Jeunet made with Marc Caro.

This is definitely the only thriller you will ever see where the plot includes Marilyn Monroe’s molar and Benito Mussolini’s eyeball.

The title, incidentally, is shortened from the French original Micmacs à tire-larigot, an idiom I understand to mean “plenty of trouble.” But here’s a more direct and urgent statement: You must see Micmacs.

Extras include an interview with Jeunet.

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