I Lost My Body
It’s the simplest of stories that manage to tug most powerfully at the soul, and I Lost My Body is no exception. Jérémy Clapin’s animation reaches the furthest depths of the heart in this joyful and delicate tale of love and connection. At its core, it plays with two stories: the first, the age-old tale of boy meets girl; the second, a slightly more lurid quest of hand-looks-for-body.
Naoufel (Hakim Faris) is down and out in Paris. He’s a pizza delivery boy who can’t seem to get to his clients on time. Fate plays with his heart as he finds solace through an apartment vestibule’s intercom in the voice of Gabrielle, a hip, no-nonsense librarian. Across town, a severed hand escapes from a laboratory and embarks on a journey to reconnect with its absent body. The idiosyncratic mole resting just above its index finger lets us know that boy and hand have more in common than initially meets the eye.
Clapin’s masterful storytelling shines through as he seamlessly laces in Naoufel’s memories of his childhood in Morocco before his parents’ deaths. Memories associated with touch and sound trickle in and out of Naoufel and his hand’s current state of dread. The tri-timelined journey is streamlined and every detail is marked by its significance to the plot.
The director adapted the story from Guillaume Laurant’s 2006 novel Happy Hand. In the original iteration, the hand takes the central narrative and even speaks. Here, Clapin flaunts his confidence in his craft as he gracefully brings out the consciousness of the severed appendage. Through its perspective, we plunge into the Parisian underbelly. It is in manufacturing the quotidian experience of dirty streets and terrible luck that Clapin lets the dark humour of life and reckless love reign. The normality and grit are lifted by Dany Levy’s magnificent original score. It enlivens and suggests hope for Naoufel and the lost hand, who are crushed constantly by the weight of the city.
I Lost My Body is a feat of visual storytelling that strums on the heart and sings to the soul about human fallibility and the courage to wake up and continue your journey tomorrow.
I Lost My Body is available on Netflix from 29th November 2019.
Watch the trailer for I Lost My Body here: