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Delicatessen (1991) Movie Review
This Delicatessen movie review will reveal that humour emerges from a context - when absolute madness is fused with quirky dialogues, bizarre plot twists and a surprisingly tender story of love. If you are looking for a strange little tale of romance, violence and compassion then you must watch or buy Delicatessen. The film is a surreal comedy set in a futuristic post apocalyptic world where there is an extreme scarcity of food and therefore grains and pulses are being used as money.
Facts about Delicatessen (French), 1991
Director(s) of Delicatessen: Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast of Delicatessen: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon and Pascal Benezech
Genre: Comedy and Fantasy
Awards: European Film Award and Cesar Award
Delicatessen movie trivia: Jean-Pierre Jeunet got the idea of cannibalistic meals while holidaying in USA. According to him the food in the American hotels was so bad that it made him think of human meat. The idea of a cannibal butcher on the other hand occurred to him while he was staying in an apartment above a Butcher’s shop in France.
Reasons why you should watch or buy Delicatessen
The movie Delicatessen is one of the most entertaining and eccentric cult classic that has emerged from an otherwise large and exhausting canon of French Cinema. The story revolves around a butcher/landlord who runs his own delicatessen and serves human meat to his tenants. Such cannibalistic violence is executed by winning the trust of his helpers and eventually slaughtering them in order to feed the famished family and tenants.
1. Quirky characters of Delicatessen
The character of Louison, the innocuous and child like clown who joins the butcher’s apartment as a helper shines out as one of the most endearing and funny characters in the movie Delicatessen. Ignorant of the Butcher’s violent plans, he is always amusing the other children with circus tricks and despite the hostility that is thrown towards him by the other tenants he continues to be innocently helpful and charming.Throughout the film, Louison in his own sweet manner is found silently mourning over the loss of his old circus buddy, Livingston the chimpanzee who had been murdered to satiate the hunger of the depraved society. The butcher - Clapet, fat and stout too is full of eccentric idiosyncrasies. He is always seen counting his money (sacks of grains) and clashing his knives. He portrays the perfect caricature of a comic villain.
2. Delicatessen - Romance with a twist
Delicatessen lays out the setting for one of the most bizarre love story. The romance unfolds between Louison- the helper and Julie- the Butcher’s daughter. Critical of her father’s cannibalistic violence, Julie falls hopelessly in love with Louison. Louison’s chivalry and innocence inspire her to fight against her father and save Louison from his dreadful fate of getting killed and eventually eaten. Delicatessen is a sick, funny and twisted movie, yet it is this tale of romance which lends a rather sweet and tender waft to it.
3. Stunning visuals and the rustic feel of the movie
Delicatessen has one of the most beautiful and surreal visual imageries. The entire film is tinted with a hint of sepia. The rustic feel makes it appear as if the film is wrapped in a brown cellophane paper. The set paints an image of a post-war Europe, full of broken decrepit apartments with peeled off walls and shelled buildings. This description may appear dreary but one must watch Delicatessen to realize how the cinematography has treated these images to recreate a quaint and rather charming ambience.
4. Unique Background score of Delicatessen
The background score in Delicatessen is definitely one of the most brilliant and unique aspects of the film. Instead of using conventional instruments and symphonic orchestras, the directors have allowed the characters and the objects in the film to speak and weave out their own background music. The clashing of the knives, the crackling of the radio, the creaking of the springs, the rhythmic thumping of a mat which is being dusted, all make up for an astounding background score. The music played by Julie and Louison by their musical saws is also one of the most interesting highlights of this film.
5. Black Humour in Delicatessen
Delicatessen represents black humour at its best. Never too dark, never too light, it maintains a perfect balance. Like many other Caro and Juenet films, the black humour in Delicatessen too is laced with a sense of innocence. From a post-man who carries a ‘bullshit detector’, radical groups who call themselves ‘vegetarian freedom fighters’ to an old man who has turned his apartment into a swamp so he can eat the frogs and snails - Delicatessen is one of the most clever and offbeat black comedy.
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Keith Breese Delicatessen movie review
"When the dust settles, the laughing jags fade and the blood coagulates, Delicatessen is about much more than cinematic thrills. Sure, it's funny, it's gross, it's diabolically, unabashedly idiosyncratic, but it's also an epic ode to that most fundamental expression of human endeavor - creativity"