I Lost My Body
Jérémy Clapin, Guillaume Laurant
Hakim Faris, Victoire Du Bois, Patrick d”Assumcao
While Disney and their big studio counterparts are busy churning out broadly accessible animated films that speak to global audiences, smaller animation studios and artists are exploring unique concepts and fascinating stories within the confines of typically hand-drawn animated films. I Lost My Body is one such a film that examines love and loss in a most unusual manner.
The film begins in media res as a severed hand escapes a laboratory refrigerator and begins a cross-city journey to find the rest of its body. As the narrative plays out, we learn more about the life of the young man who lost it, including how he falls in love with a young woman whom he attempts to deliver a pizza to after one of the most miserable nights of his life.
As we follow Naoufel and his attempts to get away from his domineering uncle and crude cousin, his journey towards love and success are effectively rendered in flashback. The hand itself faces numerous harrowing adventures including conflicts with a bird on the rooftop and rats in the subway.
The film looks at life as a series of events that form the basis for our personalities and which enrapture and scar our psyches. Director Jérémy Clapin carefully interweaves the memories of the hand with its various tribulations, creating a unique spectacle that might never have been possible outside the scope of animation.
We are brought the emotional joys and devastating depression of the young man as he struggles to find his place in a world of cruel precision only to find that the measured existence of a carpenter can provide the kind of stability and guidance he needs to break away from the mundanity and frustrations of his prior life.
The artwork here is rough in places, but the concept is so enticing and well executed that the audience should be able to forgive some of the stylistic choices on display. The film moves at a seemingly brisk pace, but sometimes struggles to find its footing, never quite understanding the best way to approach individual scenes and making them feel a bit slap-dash as a result.
Ultimately, the semi-hopeful new beginning for both the young man and the hand that’s lost its body is a compelling treatise on life from a intriguing new perspective. I Lost My Body has depths that audiences should explore and which deserve our philosophical contemplation.
February 18, 2020