Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: I Lost My Body

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Copyright: Netflix

As a detached hand roams the streets in search of its owner, I Lost My Body starts to blend its unique charms with its ardent animation. Netflix’s support for director Jérémy Clapin and the talented animators behind him is a reassuring gamble. A streaming titan still ready to take risks and reap the rewards of doing so. Unconventional, of course, spending most of the running time in the terrifying, seedy underbelly of town, attempting to reunite itself with its original owner. Intricate appeal spread across such engaging tensions and flair for the theatricals, paired nicely with a stifled individual, delivering pizzas and looking for purpose and love. 

Synth notes populate the streets in which a severed hand clutches at any object it can find vague comfort in. Contrast well with the flashbacks to a life of passion, churned away to the reality of the rat race, I Lost My Body is an exceptional bit of film. Put together with love, care, and a great soundtrack, it’s possibly the most watchable film Netflix have released in a long while. Delightful and entertaining, balancing two complex, varied narratives with one another. One depicts a lovely story of lust and love, the other a harsh and gruelling event on the survival of the fittest. The two come together surprisingly well, bouncing off one another as the build-up to the inevitable foreshadowing comes to a stark bit of closure.  

Far away from the Illumination cash-flow style, I Lost My Body has some fresh and rewarding animation. Its style incorporates the overarching realism of grim parties, losing loved ones, yet still manages to blend a story where a severed hand fights rats in the subway of what I assume is some distant French city. We’re given vague points of note, the story never fixates itself on one clear location until the very end of the film, our catalyst moments comes around once again. Understandably so, and I Lost My Body revels in its ability to connect the dots between various storylines, its sudden bouts of tension and worry mix well with the optimistic and generally relaxed feel the film has.  

Foolish of me to expect a childish or chirpy animation, I Lost My Body has creativity flowing from it freely, but there are no signs of overarching desires to include every audience. Why bother including everyone when you have a story this good? Rather touching at times, to see how determination can lead us down new avenues, most of which will be minor detours to our ultimate goal. A tad thrilling, too, and when Clapin manages to thrive with his design and rigid structure, the film feels right at home in this sense of enchantment. An oddity in its own right, so focused on how we perceive the world through not our sense of taste or smell, but through touch. It explores the beauty of the mundane with such stark brilliance, it’s hard not to engage with this one.