The Fairy (La fée) (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
July 31, 2012 by Dennis Amith
“The Fairy” is one of the craziest, goofiest and absurd film that I have seen all year, and have seen in quite a while. But it’s a film that I also enjoyed tremendously because it is so different and so unusual from the comedy films that we are used to seeing today. From the beautifully choreographed dancing, the outrageous physical comedy and its zany storyline, “The Fairy” is a film that I definitely recommend!
TITLE: The Fairy (La fée)
YEAR OF RELEASE: 2011
DURATION: 94 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (1:85:1), French with English Subtitles, 5.1 Stereo, Color
COMPANY: Kino Lorber
RATED: Not Rated
Release Date: July 17, 2012
Directed by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Screenplay by Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy
Producer: Elise Bisson, Marina Festre, Charles Gillibert, Marin Karmitz, Nathanael Karmitz, Valerie Rouy
Executive Producer: Marina Festre
Cinematography by Claire Childreic
Editor: Sandrine Deegen
Costume Designer: Claire Dubien
Dominique Abel as Dom
Fiona Gordon as Fiona
Philippe Martz as John
Bruno Romy as Le patron de l’Amour Flou
Vladimir Zongo as Le premier clandestin
Destine M’Bikula Mayemba as Le deuxieme clandestin
Wilson Goma as Le troisieme clandestin
Didier Armbruster as L’homme volant
Anais Lemarchand as La chanteuse
Lenny Martz as Jimmy
Dom works as a night clerk at a small hotel in the industrial port city of Le Havre. One night, a strangely dressed woman named Fiona arrives and claims she is a fairy. She grants Dom three wishes, and makes his first two wishes come true Ã¯Â¿Â½ before mysteriously vanishing. By now, Dom has fallen in love with Fiona, and he proceeds to embark on a search for his elusive fairy. The third feature film by the gifted trio of physical comedians Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy, THE FAIRY presents a series of slapstick set pieces which hark back to the work of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Jacques Tati.
The trio of Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon and Bruno Romy are known for their physical and absurdist comedies “L’iceberg” (2005) and “Rumba” (2008).
Beloved by many for incorporating a semi-silent style of filmmaking, focusing on physical comedy reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and also Jacques Tati, the trio once again came together to write, direct and star in the French/Belgian comedy,”The Fairy” (La fée).
And received positive reviews from film critics for its crazy humor and physical comedy and now the film will be released in America on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Kino Lorber.
“The Fairy” is a film that is set in the industrial port cit of Le Havre. Dom (as portrayed by Dominique Abel) works as a night clerk at small hotel and can’t wait to dig into his sandwich which he has made, but unknowingly drops the ketchup cover inside the sandwich and smothers it with ketchup.
But each time he tries to eat his sandwich, he is interrupted by people needing a room for the night.
One is an English customer named John (as portrayed by Philippe Martz) who is trying to get a room for him and his small dog, Mimi.
The second is an odd woman named Fiona (as portrayed by Fiona) who claims she is a fairy and wants to grant three wishes to Dom. Dom think she is weird but quickly gives her a room, so he can enjoy his sandwich.
But when he does take a bite out of it, he begins choking on the ketchup cap but out of nowhere, Fiona comes and slams her head on his stomach, thus allowing Dom to spit out the cap and is saved.
When she goes to ask him one more time, what is his three wishes. He tells her that he wants a moped and infinite amount of gas.
The following morning, he wakes up to find a moped right next to him and as for gas, no problem as Fiona seems to fake her way into an industrial gas company and take the gas. Making sure Dom has his infinite amount of gas. But having not seen Fiona in a while, he realizes he has fallen in love with Fiona and he wants to be with her.
But Dom craves for Fiona, she craves for him… What happens when these two individuals finally get together?
“The Fairy” is presented in 1080p high Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). The cinematography by Clair Childeric is beautiful and she manages to capture the look and feel of the industrial port city of Le Havre. Vibrant and colorful with natural skin tones to black levels that are nice and deep, overall picture quality is very good for “The Fairy”. Granted, there are some scenes where “fake” backgrounds are shown via green screen, the scenes were intentional.
But overall, there is nothing I can say badly about the video quality of “The Fairy”. The film looks beautiful on Blu-ray!
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Fairy” is presented in French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. The film is primarily physical, with some dialogue and music, so as expected, it was front and center channel heavy. But overall audio, dialogue and music is crystal clear.
Subtitles are in English.
“The Fairy” comes with a theatrical trailer and stills gallery.
When I watched the film “Rumba” was surprised but also captivated by the performance by Dominique Abel and Fiona Gordon.
There films are so far from traditional French or Hollywood cinema in the fact that these two leading talents are so unlike the image of what one would see as romantic comedy film stars but the fact that these two along with Bruno Romy have managed to create three films that are odd, crazy but yet, these absurdist comedies are too fun to ignore.
The physical comedy by both Abel and Gordon are reminders of the days of Chaplin and Keaton but also the whimsical style of Jacques Tati, but in a more goofier and crazy way. They are the most unlikely people to see in the film, but its that charm of being so against what is traditional in cinema that adds to “The Fairy’s” allure.
Watching “The Fairy” is like having the goofiest dream that you ever had and making it into a movie. For example, in one scene, a nude Dom and Fiona run into the beach and end up sinking into the ocean with nothing but seaweed on them, but yet, similar to their film “Rumba”, the two take part in a dance.
In another scene, we see the skinny Fiona’s stomach, suddenly ballooning to show that she is pregnant. But in crazy fashion, when she gives birth, we see what looks like a six month old baby with its umbilical cord come out of her. And together, these two odd individuals must be parents to this baby that they named “Jimmy”.
You add in other odd characters such as the slimy John (Philippe Martz), who is doing something naughty in his bedroom, but why he needs his dog so much, is it for companionship or something else? Hmm…
You also have Bruno Romy playing an owner of a pub. But he is so blind that he can’t even see what he is serving and the fact that people go into this pub and seeing this man who can barely see is quite absurd. But so damn funny! I couldn’t help but laugh, because it was so out of left field.
Throw in three Black men, who are homeless but yet find themselves in the oddest positions that related to Dom, Fiona and John. In one scene, they want to go to England, so they jump into an old vehicle in hopes that John can illegally take them there.
But there are so many odd moments in this film that you will find yourself laughing but also thinking, “I can’t believe they did that!”.
Usually, whenever a baby is seen in a film, we often see the parents caring for it. In “The Fairy”, little Jimmy is falling from a building, falling off a cliff, accidentally placed on the trunk of a moving car and suffice to say, this baby is going through the craziest experiences!
Granted, I’m sure there are parents who will complain about a baby being used in this way but hopefully no one is too much of a troglodyte to think that baby’s can be treated in such a manner.
But its the absurdity of “The Fairy” that makes it so fun to watch and once in a while, it’s great to have something that is crazy and clever, rather than the abundant of films that are crazy, banal and kitsch.
As for the Blu-ray, picture quality is gorgeous. The cinematography of Claire Childreic manages to capture the feel and surroundings of Le Havre. Skin tones are natural, detail is very good in HD, including closeups and audio, presented in French DTS-HD MA 5.1 is crystal clear. Although, it is primarily front and center channel driven. As for special features, as much as I would have loved a commentary track or featurette, the theatrical trailer and stills gallery is included.
Overall, “The Fairy” is one of the craziest, goofiest and absurd film that I have seen all year, and have seen in quite a while. But it’s a film that I also enjoyed tremendously because it is so different and so unusual from the comedy films that we are used to seeing today. From the beautifully choreographed dancing, the outrageous physical comedy and its zany storyline, “The Fairy” is a film that I definitely recommend!
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