A visual treat combined with heartfelt writing and raw emotions, 'I Lost My Body' is a modern animated classic.
'A severed hand which is sentient and looking for its owner.' Sounds absurd when you say it loud, right ? But that happens to be the idea behind 'I Lost My Body', a French animated feature, directed by Jérémy Claplin. As absurd as it sounds, when it is executed on-screen, the product is a film which is emotionally-gripping and an experience which is bound to stay with the audience for a long time.
The film uses a parallel narrative to tell the story of a Moroccan boy, Naoufel and that of his severed hand and its misadventures through Paris to reach its owner. The screenplay manages to balance this jump between narratives effectively, which doesn't make it feel as the parallel narrative exists for the sake of a parallel narrative. On the contrary, the film juxtaposes the journey of the hand with that of its owner to deliver themes of moving forward and getting through the trauma of past events.
Using a flat and sketchy style of animation which feels like the love-child of a graphic novel and that of anime, I Lost My Body is a beautiful film to look at. Be it the snowy cityscape of Paris or a claustrophobic house party, the animation lends to a certain sense of calm throughout each scene. When it comes to the narrative of the severed hand, the film often becomes macabre and in some scenes almost dwells into the genre of body horror. One scene in particular involving rats, is nerve-wracking and tense.
The soundtrack by Dan Levy is a mix of acoustic and electronic. The music can range from terrifying in horror-esque scenes, reminiscent of John Carpenter's music while dwelling into mild, acoustic tones during emotional scenes. All in all, the soundtrack of the film is a beauty to behold. Combine this with great sound design, you get a complete aural treat.
In the end, not only does I Lost My Body make a wacky concept work, but it does so with heartfelt characters and a moving story which is bound to make the audience's eyes well up. Mastering the art of happy-sad storytelling, films like I Lost My Body remind me why I love animation as a medium and the art of masterful filmmaking.
I Lost My Body releases on Netflix on November 29, 2019.