Gustave Klopp is a sleepyhead. He has narcolepsy and nods
off at times of stress and emotion. To his wife Pam - the
get-ahead manicurist and best buddy Lenny the Van Damme-wannabe,
be's a good-natured dope. To his shrink Samuel Pupkin and
retro stand-up Guy Bennet, he's a potential goldmine. For
Gus has a hidden talent and an alter ego whose adventures
he relates in sensational comic-books. When Gus saws logs,
in his dreams, he becomes Gustave Klopp, superhero...
is an interesting condition. In times of extreme stress or
emotion, the body shuts down and you fall asleep. Which naturally
means the condition will wreck major havoc in the sufferer's
social life, especially when dozing off at times when you're
experiencing profound pleasure.
story chronicles the life of Gustuv Klopp, a narcoleptic,
played out in two separate halves. The first showcased the
zany aspects of Gustuv's condition, how he cannot hold on
to even the simplest of jobs, which leaves him unemployed
and badly in need of the dough. His form of escape from his
real world woes lies in his fantasy dreams when he dozes off,
transporting him off to different dimensions in which he will
inevitably be the hero who saves the day.
the saying goes, the Heavens do smile upon the village idiot,
and it is no surprise that despite his handicap, he still
managed to snag the "school flower" for his wife,
although this would serve as a sore point later. To sustain
his family, he chanced upon an idea to exploit his condition
by tapping into the creative dreams and stories he subconsciously
conjures, and translate them onto paper in the form of graphic
novels, given his artistic talent.
half of the movie tangents off into seriousness with a look
at darker themes like betrayal, and the greed of man. Gone
is the fluff from the beginning, and in place it explores
possession, of weaknesses which bears dire consequences, of
basically gaining credit, wealth and fame for something that
you did not rightfully earn. It also shows a different side
of Gustav, one of confusion, of being stunned by revelations
of the truth, and the cluelessness of not having a crutch
to cushion the impact. You might think that actor Guillaume
Canet had it easy playing someone who falls asleep most of
the time, but the second half of the movie will change that
thought as he translates the pain and bewilderment from a
totally new experience.
in the story is an able group of supporting cast playing numerous
caricatures like an ex-comedian turned successful publisher,
an unscrupulous psychiatrist who harbours thoughts of becoming
a comic artist, Gustuv's best friend who's a karateka wannabe
(someone my favourite character in the movie), a pair of ice-skating
assassins, and Jean Claude Van Damme. Ok, so I jest at the
appearance of Van Damme, but it is precisely this array of
colourful characters which light up the screen with their
Secret Adventures of Gustave Klopp builds a conventional story
around an uncommon medical condition, and the end result is
a pretty entertaining movie about familiar dark themes in
a movie which started off pretty brightly.
No qualms about the excellent visual transfer here, and the
audio option presented is selectable between French Dolby
Digital 2.0 or 5.1, which might seem like an overkill if not
for the war and space battle sequences.
No extras included, not even a complimentary theatrical trailer.
DVD RATING :
by Stefan Shih