Film: Mr. Bean’s Holiday
Director: Steve Bendelack
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Max Baldry, Emma De Caunes, Willem Dafoe, Steve Campos, Clint Dyer
Mr. Bean is back on silver screen after a hiatus of 10 long years and boy was it worth the wait. We have seen him do this thing in every possible form, from animated series to television shows. People have bought every form of merchandise in a bid to keep the franchise alive; it lives on folks!
Known for his goofy behavior and clumsy appearance, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) this time around finds himself caught in a rather amusing situation. Winning a raffle, he finds himself on a trip to Cannes. Well all is fine until his clumsy behavior catches up with him and has practically the entire French police searching for him, as they believe that he has kidnapped a Cannes jury members’ son (Max Baldry). Well to add to that, he additionally finds himself in the weirdest of places doing the most bizarre things (expected).
While you are sure of what to expect, the director, with a trick or two up his sleeve lets it all out in this film. You are bound to drown in the laughter that surrounds you and fall of your seats.
This film is unbelievably scripted and choreographed; at no point do you find that the story is at a stand still, waiting for a push to move forward. Each event blends and fades into the other; it is like watching the bean series, only this time back to back. The experience of watching this film cannot be put down in words, as it is the timing and preciseness of Atkinson’s action that has you in splits.
Keeping to the character’s existing image, the filmmaker has ensured that Bean’s actions speak louder than the few words he uses. Dialogues are at a minimum, further making this a great task to direct.
The direction is commendable; each shot is meticulously taken, ensuring not only the action of the characters is focused upon, but also the environment around them. Like the scene where Bean is figuring where he is, there are hardly a few people around him, further enhancing the notion of him being all by himself. The idea of balancing and blending handheld footage and steady camera shots is not only novel but also makes the film extremely hilarious and entertaining. This unique idea balances two parallel stories; that of what bean sees on his holiday, balanced by where the story is heading. (Great stuff, thoroughly entertaining).
The script is so sound, that incorporations of the Cannes Film Festival and other things that could have fallen flat are actually the highlights of the film. Production values are high; the digital composition is great (At last a good film with the right amount of enhancements). Even the language barrier between Bean and the other characters is well brought out. My favourite, however was the scene where Bean is found lip-syncing to ‘Mi Babbino Caro’, to earn some money.
The actors outdo themselves, Atkinson is insanely funny, each expression, action has you rolling on the floor. Baldry and Emma are great as well. Each character has been etched out well and what you see with these two is them living the characters. Dafoe is hysterical, his narcissistic persona is highly amusing.
The only thing you end up missing in this film is Bean’s friend, teddy bear. The humor in this film may not go down too well with a lot of the viewers, for they may not be familiar towards British comedy (start by watching the hilarious Keeping up Appearances series). There is a slight disappointment with trying to make Bean a wee bit emotional and sentimental, a quality you never associate him with.
While the film will not necessarily go down well with the audience who are looking for some drama and action (this film is clearly not for you), the film can be expected to go down well with the multiplex movie goers; especially those who have grown up watching Bean or even just started. The film is clearly for an urban English speaking audience in India. The non-existent marketing and the clear distinction in the target segmentation will be the decisive factor in making this film a box office success.
Mr. Bean’s Holiday is not recommended to those with a weak heart, chances are you will kill yourself laughing. This one is worth a watch, especially with your kids.
This is a great film for those who enjoy British comedy, while the rest of you will be in splits looking at Bean.
Make sure you buy your munchies before the film; chances are you will not get out in the interval in fear of missing a scene.