NNWIJ: Delicatessen (1991)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet/Marc Caro

Notable Cast: Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Dominique Pinon

Rating: R

Review:  Delicatessen is a uniquely bizarre French tale of an apartment building that will do anything to survive in a post-apocalyptic world.  The building is inhabited by an eccentric cast of characters: ranging from a man who lives in a room filled with water and surrounded by frogs, because he wants to be one, to a woman who is convinced she hears voices that are telling her to kill herself, which she tries multiple times unsuccessfully.  At the bottom of the building is a butcher shop run by Clapet (Dreyfus), the so-called leader of the group.  They rely on him for food, which he was worked out a system to achieve.  He publicizes a job that entails pretty much being the building handy man, waits for someone to take it, lets them work for about a week, and then takes them downstairs and butchers them for food.  So in short, all of them are cannibals.  Enter poor Louison (Pinon).  He takes what he thinks is an opportunity of a job, offering room and board even, but in fact we know the fate he is hurdling toward.  Complications arise when Clapet’s daughter takes a liking to him though, and we watch as Louison tries to escape the fate of being dinner for a whole apartment building of starving individuals.  But as weird as this film sounds, it will not prepare you that the level of creativity/insanity Delicatessen truly achieves.  Every character is stranger than the other, and visually the film supports this.  Just by the way the characters move, mainly pointing out the scene where the entire building is going about their day at the pace set by Clapet’s squeaking bed (Aw yeahhh), the film has a certain charm that makes it intriguing.  Sure, it could have been just an awkward “love scene,” but instead the directors make it much more watchable and bring a sense of humor to the situation.  Not to mention the innuendos created also to add to the humor.  This will not be for everyone, but if you can deal with over the top black comedies, there is plenty of pleasure to be found in Delicatessen.  Just make sure the next time you go to the deli, you actually see the products the butcher uses.  Make sure you know where that meat’s coming from…

Netflix Rating: 4/5


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About Matt Donato

I love all things film. I'll watch any genre, any actor, at any time. This whole film critic thing is a passionate hobby for now which I'm balancing with working in the business world, but hey, someday, who knows?
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