“Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart” – Movie Review

ap_165X240_jack_uk.inddThis twisted tale is set in the 19th century and starts in Edinburgh. Jack’s mother struggles through a storm on the coldest night of the year to get to the midwife in time to deliver. Unfortunately, the frigid night has frozen Jack’s heart solid, and it is only through the ingenuity of the midwife who replaces his living heart with a clock that he survives. His mother abandons the infant in the night, and the midwife finally has the child she has been longing for. But, his mechanical heart makes him vulnerable to the strains of the outside world, and his adoptive mother fears for his safety in the face of fear, angry, and especially falling in love.

When Jack is ten,  he convinces her to let him go into town and it is love at first listen when he meets a girl working as a street performer. In hopes of seeing her again, he begs to be allowed to go to school where he falls victim to the school’s chap hopping bully. (“chap hop” is a musical style that combines hip hop with being gentlemanly, first done by Professor Elemental). Jack endures years of torture before he finally flees to Spain where his love has moved to in the interim and strives to win her heart, even at the expense of his own.

maxresdefault

In the spirit of The City of Lost Children and other French films I have watched, this movie is as surreal as it is beautiful, and don’t worry, there are versions in several languages including English. It is a musical which is based on a concept album by Dionysos and an illustrated novel created by the lead singer, Matthias Malzieu. The French iterations go by the title Jack et la mécanique du cœur (2013), which translates to “Jack and the Mechanics of the Heart”, which is a much stronger title in my opinion. Like the title, some of the lyrics in the English version come out sounding a bit funny due to the translating, but I am sure it all rhymed in French. The artwork is inspired by the work of Tim Burton, which gives the setting and the story a dark and Gothic feel that adds to the Steampunkishness.

Phoebe Darqueling is a writer and artist who is currently living in Europe, will be moving to California this Fall, but whose heart will always belong to Minnesota.


Like my reviews? Check out more cool stuff at my website!

Like my reviews? Check out more cool stuff at my website!

Trackbacks & Pings

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar