Trailer Tuesdays: Jack et la Mechanique Du Coeur

I have a secret adoration for French animated films. Actually, maybe not so secret: after the two month period where I spammed A Monster in Paris on my blog, I’m pretty sure that bias was clear. But whereas I love A Monster in Paris for its cute story and catchy musical numbers, Jack et la Mechanique Du Coeur—directly translated as Jack and the Mechanism of the Heart, but the tentative English title seems to be The Boy With The Cuckoo-Clock Heart according to IMBD—hits all the right notes for me aesthetically.

Done in a darker gothic-like palette (I’d compare it to Tim Burton, but I don’t particularly like him), the movie follows Jack, who, as you can probably guess, is in possession of a cuckoo-clock heart. There are apparently three rules he must follow:

  1. Never touch the clock hands
  2. His temper must be controlled at all times
  3. He must never fall in love

Doing any of these will compromise the mechanism along with his life. It’s safe to guess that he probably fails at one of these, or perhaps even all of them. From the trailer, it’s clear that Jack already has a love interest, so there’s no way that number three is going to remain untouched.

Outside of the general style of this film, I love the story itself or at least what I can see of it. Rather than exploring the capability of mechanized creatures like robots to be human, we’ll be able to explore a humanity that is much closer being roboticized. That is to say, life without feeling. Scenarios where it should be impossible to not have emotions, but where the character must remain stoic for whatever reason have always intrigued me, especially if these actions lead to their own downfall.

I also find the female character interesting right off the bat. Where Jack has a cuckoo-clock heart, the female lead seems to have a brambled rose instead. It makes me wonder if this girl has to follow a similar set of rules, or even an opposite set of rules. If she had the need, the requirement to pursue her feelings for someone that cannot express their own feelings I think it would make for a very interesting story, and it also might explain why the shy girl’s heart has been overrun with thorns later on in the trailer.

What I’m not looking forward to, however, is the soundtrack to this film. If it’s anything like that song in the trailer, we’re going to have a bad time. Due to its upbeat-ness and complete lack of atmosphere, it sends a conflicted message on what the film is about. Despite the somberness of the plot and colors, the music makes the film come off as a comedy almost. Not cool. Also, I really hope that the story doesn’t devolve to Jack sacrificing his own heart/life to rescue the girl from her own heart problems. I can’t say this is what will happen for sure—I certainly haven’t read the book it’s based on—but I also can’t say that I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened. Best case scenario, they both learn how to overcome that which restricts them, but don’t get magically cured. Maybe that’s asking too much.

The film is set for release in France on February 5th in 2014, so waiting to see if it meets or falls to my expectations will be a long process. However, I’m excited to see how the story is handled and will continue hoping that it will get an American release much like A Monster in Paris.

4 thoughts on “Trailer Tuesdays: Jack et la Mechanique Du Coeur

  1. I never even heard of the French making animated films of any greatness, probably because I mostly watch anime. But, I do consider myself something of a Francophile. What would you say are the best of French animated films?

    • Two of the most well regarded films are ‘The Triplets of Belleville’ and ‘Persepolis’. Whereas I’ve only read the latter, I can assure you that the former is quite good. And though not done entirely by the French, ‘The Secret of Kells’ has beautiful animation and a lovely story. I would also recommend ‘The Illusionist'(directed by the same fellow who did ‘Belleville’) and, of course, ‘A Monster in Paris’.
      Let me know if you enjoy these should you watch any of them! 🙂

  2. As a reader of the original book and owner of the album -both of which are the base and heart of this movie, the last piece by Mr Malzieu at his own story, I should tell you that at least as far as I know, all the songs of the soundtrack are straight out of the album of the same name, La Mecanique du Coeur. It was made and composed entirely by the writer of the novel and the codirector of the movie, Matthias Malzieu, who also unsurprisingly voices Jack both in the movie and in the album.
    What I would like to say is that the song in the teaser is actually one of the most upbeat songs in the album indeed. While not most, several other songs have a darker tone, mix clock sounds in the tunes and play with spanish, english and french lyrics which may be confusing but adequate to the general style of the book story and characters. If you liked the music of a monster in paris, you may also like this one. All the songs are already in the web, despite not being confirmed which ones are or are not in the movie itself.
    Oh, and by the way, these aren’t flowers in miss Acacia (for that’s her name)’s chest. These sort of tiny details make me doubt it will be a family movie, just as neither the album nor the book were very child-friendly. It was truly interesting your idea though, of miss Acacia having her own heart problems. This is not the case, unfortunately, even if it would have been a fascinating scenario.
    I hope I have been informative enough and not much of a nitpicky know-it-all. Also, your animated movie taste is top-notch. I’d recommend you the French animation The Rabbi’s Cat if you’re interested in getting even deeper.

  3. Pingback: My Heart Falls To Pieces: A Review of Jack and The Cuckoo Clock Heart | Lady Geek Girl and Friends

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