Angel-A [USER REVIEW]
This was originally written for my own blog, but I’m reprinting it here, with permission from the editor. Hope you dear readers enjoy it![youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaoYTgbUmdc]
First of all, I have to say that shooting this movie in black and white was a stroke of genius. It definitely adds a lot to the whole atmosphere of the film. While I don’t know anything about cinematography (hope I spelled that right) I can safely say that Angel-A is visually fantastic, and tres chic. The soundtrack is also excellent, and complements the visuals perfectly. This is in many ways a beautiful, beautiful film.
Andre is a bit of a nobody, and is heavily in debt, with only a limited amount of time to repay it. Seeing no alternative, he decides to jump off a bridge and end it all- only to find that somebody else has had the exact same idea, that somebody being a beautiful, tall, slightly waifish young woman named Angela. She jumps, and he ends up saving her. As a sort of token of gratitude, Angela offers to do whatever she can to help him with whatever his problems are. He accepts. While at first Andre is irritated with her, an unlikely friendship slowly begins to form, as Angela not only helps him to repay his debts, but also helps him in realising the better side of himself.
But do you want to know the best part of this film? It’s a fantasy flick. Angela isn’t so much natural as she is supernatural. I won’t say here what exactly Angela is, as that would just ruin the surprise, but suffice to say it’s brilliant and very clever. The fantastical elements are also pretty minimalist, and aren’t even introduced until around halfway through, which I love. Imagination and subtlety make for a great combination. Angel-A is many different things: it’s artistic, thought-provoking and in some places quite poignant, but also quirky and funny. It actually reminded me a little bit of Amelie and Harold and Maude, believe it or not. Angela’s character is a definite Strange Girl, of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl variety. In fiction, such a character doesn’t always work, but I feel that in this case it does. Angela teaches him about life and about himself, but never in an overly-sentimental way. In the end, she does make him a stronger person, and not only that, he also helps her too. Her quirkiness is never forced either, and seems pretty genuine. My only real problem with the character is that she’s quite…sexualised. Is this mere wish-fulfillment on the director’s part, or does it add anything to the film? Is this a valid part of her character or was it just shoved in? I cannot come to any real conclusion, but I really do hate it when people just exploit women’s bodies.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsOnJgm3Z14]
Angel-A is ultimately a very touching film, about identity, truth, gender and coming to love yourself.