Mr. Nobody Movie Review
Where to start. Mr. Nobody is a weird movie. It tells its story out of chronological order. Hell, it tells its story in particularly nonlinear fashion, spanning multiple realities. The movie is a mindbender, and yet it's equally easy to understand, beautiful to watch and surprisingly entertaining given that it took a whopping five years to hit American markets - and only on DVD and Blu-ray.
Mr. Nobody plays a lot like the love-it-or-hate-it Cloud Atlas on the surface, only without the strange futuristic languages and even stranger characters. At its most basic level, Mr. Nobody is a movie about choice, and a step further it's a movie about love. It has elements of sci-fi--parts of the movie take place in a high-tech future or on Mars--but primarily the movie splinters at the decisions the lead character Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) makes throughout his life.
The movie is aggressively made by director Jaco Van Dormael, who somehow manages to balance several corresponding timelines (Nemo marries three different women in three different realities) and not only make them make sense, but bring everything to a head in an understandable and enjoyable climax. It takes a while to figure out exactly where Dormael is taking things, but once you do, everything clicks into place.
Visually, Mr. Nobody is gorgeous and its visual effects are better than those found in some much larger Hollywood productions. The editing plays a large part, too; the filmmakers mix, match and collide the parallel storylines in a way that enhance each individual arc.
The film also boasts a talented and recognizable cast, which aside from Oscar-nominee Jared Leto features Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Rhys Ifans and Juno Temple. However, both the actors and their characters get lost among the broader strokes painted by Dormael. Despite being so much about one man's life decisions, and two and a half hours long, the characters are merely marionettes used to achieve Dormael's vision; on their own, there's not much substance.
Mr. Nobody is an ambitious, intriguing and even entertaining movie, but suffers from a lack of character depth. Its nonlinear storytelling approach isn't for everyone and its philosophical themes are for even fewer, but Mr. Nobody still has more than enough going for it to appeal to people who want something a little different.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.