Movie Review: I Lost My Body

By Brandon Labecki, Current Staff

Among this year’s Oscar nominees is a gripping animated film from France that depicts the extreme aspects of the trials of life. 

Directed by Jérémy Clapin, “I Lost My Body” presents aspects of an impoverished life, a disappointing childhood and an intriguing look into adolescent romance. The acclaimed film, now available on Netflix, is nominated for an Academy Award for best animated feature. The Oscar telecast is Sunday.

The movie itself made me very timid before I decided to watch it, as the plot seems off-putting. The story, after all, involves a severed hand that escapes a lab and attempts to find its original host. 

Over the course of the film, memories start to reveal how the hand became separated from its body. The memories presented belong to a young man, Naoufel, who works as a pizza delivery boy and falls in love with a woman named Gabrielle.

“I Lost My Body” is a film that draws in its audience by illustrating several concepts of the harshness of  life with its interesting animation style. The style was accomplished by combining CG animation and hand-drawn animation to create grounded and realistic effects throughout the movie. 

The heaviest aspect of the film that captivated me was the focus on the physical and mental parts of loss.

Everything in the film is shown through relatable aspects of a hard, agitated life, such as the characters’ struggles with the loss of past family, friends, jobs or literal parts of themselves. 

Examples of this are depicted in Naoufel’s tragic loss of his parents, his choice to let his job go in order to search for Gabrielle, and the hand’s separation from Naoufel.

Although obvious from the title of the film, an extremely interesting theme that connects to the ideas of loss stuck out to me throughout the movie. “I Lost My Body” is a movie about staying motivated to keep moving forward, even with extreme hardship or loss. That’s an important lesson for everyone.

Clapin depicts the theme by presenting consequences for main character’s actions and how the character has to struggle to move forward. An example of this is how Naoufel acts in the aftermath of his hand injury and later must make a choice about how he will continue without something so important.

Although the theme is one that might be a cliche, “I Lost My Body” always presents it in an intriguing and thought-provoking way. 

(Image is official publicity material.)

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