Film Review by Kam Williams
Night Watchman Belatedly Falls for Fairy in Ethereal Escapist Fantasy
Every now and then, a cinematic masterpiece comes along that’s impossible to pigeonhole. Case in point, The Fairy, a genre-blending adventure that’s part romantic romp, part escapist fantasy, part slapstick comedy, and part song-and-dance musical.
At the picture’s point of departure, we find hotel clerk Dom (Dominique Abel) being drenched by a driving rain as he rides his unreliable bicycle to work. After arriving late, he changes into dry clothes and fixes himself something to eat before checking in a couple of eccentric guests at the desk.
The first, a foreigner (Philippe Martz), is hiding a dog in his suitcase, since pets aren’t allowed on the premises. The second, an attractive woman without any luggage (Tilda Swinton look-a-like Fiona Gordon), claims to be a fairy and offers Dom three wishes.
He’s so skeptical that he initially ignores the generous overture, only to watch her magically ride a broken elevator up to her room. His curiosity is finally piqued later that evening, after Fiona miraculously reappears to perform a life-saving, Heimlich maneuver when he’s choking on a sandwich.
Suddenly a believer, Dom then asks for a motor scooter to replace his rickety bike and for free gasoline. He awakens to find his first wish granted, but the mysterious Fiona has also vanished into thin air, leaving behind only the cryptic message “Meet Me at the Love Is Blurred” scrawled in lipstick on a mirror.
And the relentless search is on!
So unfolds The Fairy, the latest collaboration courtesy of the writing/directing/acting triumvirate of Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy (The Iceberg). This go-round, the talented tandem has spun a thoroughly-entertaining, latter-day fable for the young at heart that’s every bit as silly and surreal as it is cerebral and sophisticated.
Far be it from this critic to spoil this delightful tour de force’s totally unpredictable goings-on any further. Suffice to say that the flick is a thoroughly-engaging treat undoubtedly best appreciated by folks unaware of what might be coming next.
Excellent (4 stars)
In French with subtitles.
Running time: 94 minutes
Distributor: Kino Lorber Films
Wednesday, February 22, 2012