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|The poster for science fiction film Mars et Avril; a compelling love story set in a future Montreal|
Mars et Avril - A Love Story Spanning Time, Space and AgeWhen I reviewed The Dark Knight Rises in my blog I declared a moratorium on movie reviews. I'm only too happy to break that moratorium to review Mars et Avril, which is far and away the best love story told through film that I've ever seen. Although truth be told I'm not the sentimental type, this movie still touches a chord in me.
I had the pleasure of watching this movie not once, but twice, in the last week. Layered with meaning and told with rich visuals complemented by Benoit Charest's musical score, this is one to see. I like Mars et Avril so much I count it among the best movies I've ever seen.
At the heart of the film is the love triangle between Jacob Obus (Jacques Languirand), Avril (Caroline Dhavernas), and Arthur Spaak (Paul Ahmarani). Jacob is a 75-year-old musician who plays musical instruments shaped after women's bodies. The instrument concepts are designed by Arthur and realized by his inventor and cosmologist father Eugene Spaak (Robert LePage).
The sly humour of Quebecois hands is all over this film. From Obus's band mates (one of whom bears a certain resemblance to Keith Richards) to teleporters throughout the city that sound out the names of familiar Montreal subway stations in the robotic female voice I've come to know and love.
While the main story is unfolding, there is the side spectacle of the 'Marsonauts' as humanity undertakes its first voyage to Mars. The planet Mars functions as the emotional and musical support of Mars et Avril - it's holding everything together. The planet represents war, passion, life, death, love, and not least of all dreams.
The power of dreams is a point nailed home again and again in the narrative. As Eugene tells Arthur when the son attempts to interfere with the budding relationship between the old jazz musician and the much younger Avril, "Je n'ai pas saboter les rêves des autres. C'est contre mes principes."
I won't give away any more. Go and see this one for yourself; it's a dream to remember.