This film opens with a narration in French. At first thought I was under the impression that soon the narration would stop and the characters would begin speaking (in English), or that the narration would change to English. I was taken by surprise when I came to the realization that the entire film was in French, and that I was going to have to rely only on the subtitles and the performance of the actors, and actresses to help me understand the film and what was happening.
The subtitles gave me some very important information that the movement of the actors would not have otherwise gave me. One of these being that the main character, Amelie had a very distant relationship with her father. One example of this was the fact that her father was a doctor, and besides doctors’ appointments she was never touched by her father. This caused her heart to beat irregularly fast during her appointments, so her father diagnosed her with a heart disorder. This disorder keeps Amelie home from public school, so she is home schooled by her mother. This resulted in her creating a very close bond with her mother, because of all the time they spend together. This was until her mother was killed by a woman jumping off a building in a suicide attempt, when Amelie was just a young girl. When I next see Amelie she is as a woman who has a very innocent appearance, and vibe to her. She has her own apartment where she lives alone with her cat. She also has a job at a local café where she does things such as buss tables, and serve people.
The fact that all the information I got was from only subtitles and acting really gave me the time to focus more on the settings and movement of the characters. This allowed me to really take the knowledge I have been learning about mise-en scene, and apply it, to help me better grasp the main points of this film.
The setting of this film was set all over France as Amelie took adventures all over the town in pursuit of returning the picture book to the mysterious man. In the process of doing this without her being fully aware of it she begins to fall in love with this mysterious owner of the picture book, that she found towards the beginning of the film.
I found it interesting that the director of the film chose the setting for this romantic comedy to be in various parts of France, due to the fact that France is known for the romantic feelings it gives off. I found it ironic how Amelie slowly fell in love while adventuring all around one of the most romantic cities in the world. I feel as if the setting of the film was used to help the viewer get a stronger feel for the emotions that she was developing throughout the film. The director used the strong romantic vibe that was already being given off by the city itself to help amplify the emotions and feelings of not only Amelie, but also those of the viewer.