When you ask me what are the two things that can impact the human mind the most, my answer would be music and Images. The film I lost my body is visual poetry which uses these two elements to its best in telling its story and captures your senses while you are watching it. This French animated film was premiered at the international critics’ week section at Cannes 2019. It’s the first animated film that won the Nespresso Grand Prize in this section. If that’s not enough to make you curious about the film, let me give you a gist of the plot.
The film is about the journey of Naofel and his story told from the perspective of his disembodied hand. This hand takes us on a trip down the memory lane of his life till he meets with a terrible accident and loses his hand. The hand here becomes an embodiment of him. It is given human characteristics, feelings, and some fantastic qualities about it. This being a part of him has experienced a lot of things along with him, and maybe that stays with it even if it’s separated from him. Those are the powerful memories and painful moments he has experienced in his life. The hand like a pet that has lost its way is on a quest to rejoin its master.
There are some great images on the screen and some beautiful and life-like animation work done by the animators. But what makes these images impactful is the music given by Dan levy. As the film starts it gets connected to your heart instantly and starts playing with it. The simple human horrors we see on screen and they combined with the music heightens the feelings of fear and pity for the protagonist and makes you root for him. In fact, at some point, we all feel like a part of Naofel and it’s our story being told on screen. It is relatable, magical, mesmerizing at the same time poetic and poignant.
There is a fly used as a motif in this film. It makes and breaks the crucial moments in the life of Naofel, when young Naofel tries to catch this fly he asks his dad how to catch it, to which he says to aim for the sideways. He tries to catch it, but in the end, he fails. “C’est la vie,” his father says. That’s what I thought many times when I missed opportunities and when things are not working for me. This fly here simply becomes a metaphor for life. We all try to cease it and catch it but forget living it.
There is a little talked about actors/ voice-over artists when it comes to animation films. Naofel is voiced by Hakim Faris whose voice sounds like a reflection of your inner self. It’s almost as if you are having a deeply intimate conversation with Naofel, that’s how he makes you feel about this character. Gabrielle who is the love interest of Naofel is voiced by actress Victoire Du Bois. She breathes life into this character and makes you fall in love with her, at the same time creates some mild hatred for her. Their conversation scenes stand as a highlight in the film and are dreamy as heaven.
By the end of the film, it fills your heart with emotions, brings back a few of your memories and fills your eyes with tears. I wished that I watched it in a theatre, I would have cried like a baby. But this movie fills your heart with a lot of hope by the end of it and makes you feel good about your life. The hope, positivity, and magic it brings in are what makes it special from other animated films. This unlike them is very lifelike and lively. Whatever you are watching pause it right now and go watch this film on Netflix. You can thank me later!