The Fairy | La Fée
Directors Dominique Able, Fiona Gordon, Bruno Romy | Belgium/France 2011 | 93:00 | French with English subtitles
Sunday March 30, 2014 | 6:00 PM PST | The Cinematheque | Diverciné 2014 Vancouver
The Fairy is a good-hearted comedy in the best old-school tradition, showcasing delightful visual gags and slapstick antics. When watching this boisterous comedy, I couldn’t help but think of old classics like the works of Charlie Chaplin; a lot of the movie’s best moments were reminiscent of the silent film era.
In this candy-coloured tale, the Belgian based director/writer/actor trio Dominique Abel, Fiona Gordon, and Bruno Romy tell a story set in gloomy Le Havre, where Dom (Dominique Abel), a hotel night clerk, becomes smitten with a beautiful fairy named Fiona (Fiona Gordon). She offers to grant him three wishes, and Dom, being a very simple soul, doesn’t ask for anything extravagant. Instead, he wishes for a moped and a lifetime supply of free gasoline. After only granting his two wishes, Fiona tells Dom to take his time on his third wish. Before he can make his third wish, she disappears, and Dom sets out to find her.
The Fairy is a story about the adventure, trust, and magic that can be found in our everyday lives. Is Fiona really a magical creature, or just an escapee from a mental institution? The film leaves this up for interpretation. Perhaps Fiona has taken a liking to Dom because he’s the first person she’s encountered in the outside world.
The performances in this whimsical comedy are not exactly polished, but definitely interesting. Abel and Gordon placed emphasis on physical expression and body movements, through a combination of body gestures, dance sequences, and mask-like exaggerated facial expressions.
Overall, I found the film to be sweet, strange and irresistible at the same time, and much of its appeal should be credited to Abel, Gordon and Romy’s ability to develop a unique style of comic performance. Abe, Gordon and Romy have truly created their own world — The Fairy has got to be one of the most imaginative, wacky, unique, and flat-out hysterical films I have seen in the last few years, one I would whole-heartedly recommend to everyone.