Verdict: A unique mix of emotions, romance, and body horror.
Stream it on Netflix.
Directed by Jérémy Clapin, I Lost My Body is a French animated film based on the story Happy Hand by Guillaume Laurant. It premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2019 and has already won a few awards and acclaim by international critics.
What’s I Lost My Body About:
Naofel’s (voiced by Hakim Faris in French and Dev Patel in English) life as an adult hasn’t turned out to be quite as he had imagined it to be as a child. But when he meets Gabrielle (voiced by Victoire Du Bois in French and Alia Shawkat in English), his life changes. As Naofel’s childhood and his relationship with Gabrielle are explored, there’s another story unfolding – a disembodied hand making its way through the streets of the city, trying to find its body.
I Lost My Body may be an animated film but it’s not really a film for kids. There are mature themes of love and loss that will strike a chord with older viewers. What sets I Lost My Body apart is the unique narrative that switches between timelines and tells a story that’s unlike anything you may have seen before.
Naofel’s childhood is told in a series of black-and-white scenes, his adult life is in full color, and then there’s a hand going on its own adventures. Although the narrative is more experimental than what you’d seen in an animated film, it’s easy to follow. Where Naofel’s scenes are grounded in reality, the hand’s scenes are the opposite. This is a severed hand that has a mind of its own. It hides in crevices, fends off pigeons and rats, and manages to get to the roofs of buildings. This odd blend of realism and surrealism lends an artistic quality to I Lost My Body.
What Could’ve Been Better:
Although the film is quite short, it can feel longer because of the slow pace. The inconclusive end might also not be satisfactory for all audiences.
Why You Should Watch:
I Lost My Body skillfully uses the animated medium to tell a beautiful story that is both realistic and not. If you’re looking for a different kind of film that goes beyond conventions, this will certainly match your needs.