New Netflix release I Lost My Body is an award-winning animated film based on the novel by Guillaume Laurant (Amélie) about a young man’s search for a girl he’s crushing on, told parallel to the journey of a severed hand’s search for its body.
As Liam Maguren explains in his review, the bog-standard coming-of-age tale combined with the severed hand’s story of survival equates to a reasonably good watch.
Aching for something truly original to watch? Well, Netflix just dropped I Lost My Body, an animated film about a severed hand trying to make its way back to its body. Quite an attention-grabbing concept, to say the least, but the hand’s adventure proves itself a wild ride full of startling action sequences and survival scenarios. Despite not having a face, the bumbling little fella expresses enough will and determination to make it a character worth rooting for—a testament to the animators’ ability to put personality into a single body part.
The hand’s such a likeable lead, it somewhat puts the rest of the body to shame. That body is Naoufel, a young man going through some heavy growing pains. His job’s crap. His roommate’s a total piss-bucket. Naoufel’s life is a bit of a toilet, really, and he’s hoping the girl he’s crushing on will help him flush it all away. Little does Naoufel know, however, that his method of winning her heart comes off as more than a little creepy—and the film doesn’t brush that off.
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However, despite all this tension, Naoufel’s personality doesn’t push through much beyond shuffled feet and shrugged shoulders. Perhaps it’s due to the film’s particular art direction, but all the characters’ facial expressions feel muted and therefore creates an emotional disconnect. As a result, when he and his crush first pontificate over an intercom about the North Pole and infinite endlessness, it comes across as stilted and contrived.
This all takes place before the inevitable hand dismemberment, though the two stories are told concurrently. By the film’s end, you’ll more than likely get The Point™ of this narrative device, and it’s satisfying to see first-time feature director Jérémy Clapin nail the conclusion with crafty visual storytelling and inventive uses of sound.
Part coming-of-age tale and part survival thriller, I Lost My Body equalises to being a reasonably good watch. On one hand, the bog-standard love story amuses but never resonates. Fortunately, the other hand fights rats, dodges traffic, and does all sorts of insane things you’ve never witnessed in a film.