LFF 2019 ‘I Lost My Body’ Review: Wholly Entertaining and Vividly Playful

A sentient, disembodied hand negotiates the hazards of the big city in search of its former owner Naoufel. As it travels it experiences flashes of the past it shares with Naoufel including is blissful childhood and difficult adulthood. As more is revealed about his life and desires it becomes clear that he’s missing far more than his hand.

I Lost My Body is in parts a charming Disney-style adventure about a little sentient being traveling the city and encountering a world of dangers. In these moments it is thrilling and oddly charming. The hand is humanised in its animation and has some genuinely touching moments of pain and relief. A sequence involving a baby is particularly moving.

In other parts it is a quirky romantic drama utilising the always unsettling “stalking as romance” trope, but with some condemnation from the film’s quirky female lead. It’s unfortunate as the life around this episode is incredibly well-observed and relatable. Naoufel’s childhood and awkward adult years are beautifully expressed and have a feeling of authenticity. In between these episodes, we have some visual experimentation that showcases just how beautiful the animation is.

There are more than a few similarities to Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void. After a dramatic incident, a piece of a person travels almost omniscient around their life, recalling various episodes and checking in on supporting characters. There’s even a tragic car crash lurking in Naoufel’s past that deprived him of his parents. But where Noe’s film was provocative and cheeky, the effect in I Lost My Body is altogether more wholesome (ironically) and certainly more endearing.

I Lost My Body is a startling work that demonstrates great nuance in communicating impressions of a life. It’s about the pieces of ourselves we lose and the sorrow of things past. It’s also an invigorating adventure film with some laughs and surprises. A truly mesmerising piece of film-making.

Five Stars

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