Thursday, January 22, 2009

Amélie and Philosophy, 4

Note: This post will contain more plot spoilers (than usual) and in fact re-tells the end of the movie. It’s necessary I think to understand the theme of this movie—and its value to viewers. Given the movie’s popularity, however, I am assuming of course that it’s not a “spoiler” for almost everyone that will read this. If it's not, or if you don't care, read on.


Amélie chooses to face reality, to work on fixing her own life, and to find the courage to talk to Nino. And she, as usual, has decided upon a stratagem.

There is a mystery behind one of Nino's projects, which she has solved, and her plan is to share the secret with him. She will, in effect, create an event that lets him discover it for himself and then meet him immediately after.

As she walks towards Nino, she pauses and turns her back--but for the briefest of moments. He has not yet seen her. Having regained composure, she turns around--but, alas, he's not there! He has left.

Later on, Amélie has retreated into her make-believe world once again. She is in her kitchen, imagining that Nino is coming to meet her, as (in this fantasy) he usually does. It’s a beautiful scene; exactly the life that she wants.

A curtain of beads behind her moves, and she looks back as if the fantasy has become a reality (without her having to do anything). But Nino is not there—there is a cat.

The reality of her situation becomes clear. And Amélie starts crying.

But then, the door rings. And it’s Nino. She can hear his voice! Her lover, the one whose absence has just brought her to tears, is directly behind the door! And yet she can not answer it, can not answer him.

He writes her a note, saying he will come back. She goes to the window and sees him walking away.

The phone rings. Dufayel, her neighbor is there. He tells Amélie to go into the bedroom and then hangs up. There, candles have been lit all around. She presses play on the DVD (or VCR) and Dufayel appears.

“My little Amélie,” he says, “you don’t have bones made of glass. You can take life’s knocks. [But] if you let this chance go, in time, it will be your heart which will become as dry and brittle as my skeleton. So, go get him, for Pete’s sake!”

This message, like Dufayel’s earlier questions, allow Amélie to clearly see what is holding her back—a lack of courage—and what will be the result if she doesn’t pursue her dreams. She decides, there and then, to not let this moment slip by.

She runs to the door, opens it quickly, and begins to dash out—only, there, in the frame, is Nino himself! She pauses, looking him in the eyes. Pulls him in. Shuts the door. Kisses him gently. And then asks, though not with words, for him to do the same.

Finally, at movie’s end, we see Nino sleeping in the arms of a perfectly happy Amélie. She chose to face reality, and it was good. She found the courage to pursue what she loved, and in doing so earned the moment we see.


Do you dare read more? If so, click here for the next post in the "Amelie and Philosophy" series.

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