In a controversial move, French filmmaker Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind) has had his latest surrealist feature Mood Indigo cut for its overseas release. The latest version of the French film, co-written by Luc Bossi (The Prey) and now described by its distributor, Vendetta Films, as a “looser adaptation” of Boris Vian's 1947 experimental post war novel Froth on the Daydream, will apparently offer a significantly different take than the one previously screened in France and at media previews and film festivals across Australia and New Zealand.
Mood Indigo concerns an idyllic marriage between rich dreamer Colin (Romain Duris, The Beat That My Heart Skipped) and the beautiful, quick-witted Chloe (Audrey Tautou, Amelie), which is suddenly jeopardised when the later becomes sick after a water lily is discovered growing in her lung. The story explores the affect this unusual disease has on their relationship, their bohemian lifestyle and their friends, played by Omar Sy (The Intouchables) and Gad Elmaleh (Priceless).
Tariq Anwar (American Beauty, The King's Speech) has edited the new, significantly shorter version of the film which Vendetta Films claims will be a “very different film experience”, enabling viewers to experience the tragic love story without replying on any previous knowledge of Vian's novel.
The re-edit appears to be a response to criticism that the story's integral emotional core and sense of tragedy was sacrificed at the expense of overpowering art direction, and that perhaps too many scenes and minor characters from the novel were being translated to the screen in an apparent attempt to satisfy fans of Vian's original work.
This isn't the first foreign film to have been re-worked for an overseas release in recent times. Harvey Weinstein oversaw a revised American cut of both Wong Kai-wai's The Grandmaster and Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer.
The new version of Mood Indigo will be released in cinemas September 12.