Never in my life have I imagined that I would feel sympathy for a severed hand that has a life of its own. That was until I saw the animated film ‘I Lost My Body’.
It’s where banal meets bizarre to give birth to an uncannily brilliant film. The movie starts off with a fly buzzing over some blood and the main protagonist is shown to us, lying on the floor, blankly. A few seconds later, we meet the real hero of the film – the dismembered hand, that escapes from a hospital fridge to go on an adventure across Paris. It has a mission – to find the rest of its body.
It’s not like a moving hand is an absolute novelty, The Addams Family had made it normal in the last century. But there is something oddly interesting about watching a dismembered hand find its way through the streets and roofs of Paris to reunite with the rest of its body. Along the way, we see flashbacks, all very ordinary, but some very poignant, up until the horrifying moment the hero (the hand) loses his body.
What makes the experience of watching the film more enjoyable is the carefully selected musical scores that play throughout the narrative, some of it is haunting. There are some scenes that will put you on the edge, like when the hand is surrounded by rodents that seem interested in devouring it. The rest of the film tells us about the owner of the hand, Naoufel, a young man, who is living a mundane life delivering pizzas after his childhood dream to become an astronaut was shattered by the untimely demise of his parents.
His dismembered hand perhaps is also a metaphor of how he was cut off from his parents, from a more comfortable life, forced to abandon his aspirations and struggle through the daily grime of life and surviving in a foster home.
The film is about love, loss and the other ordinary things in life, all shown to through the invisible mind and eyes of a disjointed hand. It’s definitely not a crowd-pleaser and will probably appeal to only a certain kind of audience. And for that audience, it’s a gem of a movie.
Sneha Jaiswal published a poetry collection called “Death & Darker Realms”, it’s available on Amazon, so check it out.