If you’re an admirer of the Michel Gondry/Charlie Kaufman surrealist school of film making ( Being John Malkovich 1999, External Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004 or maybe The Science of Sleep 2006) then your going to love Cold Souls (2009) The French born writer and director Sophie Barthes debut feature film has a very bizarre story line. After intense rehearsals for the Chekhov's play “Uncle Vanya,” Paul is emotionally drained. He stumbles upon an advert in a magazine for a ‘Soul Storage’ clinic, a private lab offering relief from the burden of your soul. Paul decides to get his soul extracted, only to discover that it has the shape and size of a chickpea. After a failed attempt to live and act without his soul, he rents one from an alleged Russian poet that guides him into a strange dreamlike world. Things take an unexpected turn when he decides to get his original soul back and he meets Nina, a Russian who illegally transports souls from her homeland to America.
It get’s even weirder when you discover that Paul Giamatti (Win Win 2011) is playing himself!! Also involved in this oddball story are David Strathairn as Doctor Flinstein who runs the ‘Soul Storage’ clinic, Emily Watson (Oranges and Sunshine 2010) plays Pauls despairing wife Claire, and the lovely Russian actress Dina Korzun, who came to my notice in the Pawel Pawlikowski asylum drama Last Resort (2000), plays the soul mule Nina.
|Russian actress Dina Korzun.|
Quite wrongly the film projects itself as a laugh out loud comedy, which unquestionably it is not. The humour, when it occurs, I would describe as unconventional and dark, more intriguing than entertaining. One for the Kaufman enthusiasts I think?