When Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) moves in next door to Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg) he falls in love but the creative refuge of his dreams confounds his real life desires. It is a beautiful film that speaks to us of the child within in us and our inability to reconcile the naiveté, purity and creativity of the early years with the demands of our older years. The world that director Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) creates for us, is a world full of homemade creative invention that flows through dreams and reality, the borders ever fuzzy.Resonant with the main film itself, is the stop-motion homemade film that Stephane and Stephanie embark on together. One senses that it is a fertile world for love to grow and Stephanie's gentle soul is best symbolized by a little stitched horse that Stephane animates and that leaps with joy and delight.It is the insecurities of the real world though that bring a sadness to the story. The inability of Stephane to understand the rituals and responsibilities of romantic love pushes her away as he sinks deeper into his world. The final poignant moment has her stroking his hair as he sleeps, perhaps part mother and part longing. At that moment she is what he desired all along and yet he is in the faraway land of his dreams as he rides away with her on the stitched horse.
"Parallel Synchronized Randomness" is the concept that is basically the foundation of "The Science of Sleep", a secret and unsearchable agreement between two minds that find themselves unknowingly connected. After the death of his father in Mexico, Stéphane, a creative man, goes back to Paris by request of his mother. There are waiting for him a job as illustrator in a small business that promotes calendars and a neighbor, Stéphanie, who sews as a hobby toys. He falls in love with the girl, Stéphane woos her in dreams and when he is awake he builds for her mechanical puppets or improbable time machines. But in love, dream and reality hardly ever coincide. Structured like an homemade television studio, the dream theater is the perfect setting on which to stage the dissatisfaction of everyday life. The game is so rewarding that is confused with reality: between somnambulism and hallucinations Stéphane confuses the levels of its existence that are wildly alternated. A lot of important details make this film at the same time brilliant and illogical: the combination of colors and images and music; the delightful family videos of Stéphane's childhood that show a different way of filming; the proud low-cost special effects that make remember of cartoons and innocence; the brilliant beginning of the film that captures the attention of the public with surreal colors and the voice over of Stéphane. The great idea to represent the mind of Stephane as a television studio, all made of cardboard and cellophane, in which the protagonist prepares his dreams like the chef of a television program of cooking. The main ingredients are the colors and emotions of the present, mixed with the sounds, the voices, the music, the memories of the past and mixed again with some of the hopes for the future and that's your dream. Nothing more nothing less. Dreams live and intersect with reality itself, dreams influence reality until it is difficult to tell where one ends and the other begins. "The science of sleep" is the development of this theory. This movie shows how a man with a creative mind works, how he lives, how he builds reality and especially how he loves.
Writer/director Michel Gondry's The Science of Sleep is an interestingly crafted film that explores the fantastical dream state of one's mind, dissecting the science behind their construction. In the daytime, we experience many things ranging from all levels of importance – and even the smallest moments can re-emerge as greater entities in the mysterious wonder of our dreams later that night.We follow Stéphane (Gael García Bernal), a shy and quirkily insecure young Mexican man, as he tries to adapt to the atmosphere of his new home in Paris. With difficulty connecting with his odd new coworkers, he finds solace only in spending time with his lovely neighbor, Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). That, as well as escaping into his dream world where he doesn't have to suffer the hardships of trying to interact with people and make a good impression. His mother says he has always had trouble deciphering his dreams from reality, and this becomes clearer as we see the two intertwining throughout, along with an ongoing commentary from inside Stéphane's head – which is presented as the set of a TV show hosted by Stéphane himself. These complications of his psyche are both charming and suspicious to Stéphanie, and Stéphane is determined to power through and earn her love, allowing her into his fascinating universe.The dream-like images rely heavily on practical effects – most notably stop motion. In fact, the display of these effects is so prominent that for a while it may feel as though they were Gondry's main inspiration to make the film, using a character who dreams of such things as an excuse to include so many sequences depicting them. They don't always feel completely necessary and at times distract from the narrative. His screenplay presents a substantial amount of deep-thinking ideas, plenty of which are muddled or lost in the bizarre techniques used to illustrate them. The film is also a comedy of sorts, with many jarringly silly actions taking place in the dreams as well as more subtly funny moments found in the awkward mannerisms and dialogue between the main character and his romantic interest.Despite the messiness in the presentation of Gondry's ambitious themes, his visual flair does make for some intriguing scenes and shots, and the film is edited at a brisk pace. Perhaps the standout is Bernal's performance, which lets us in on the character's possible insanity and makes him sympathetic and fun to watch. There are nuances in his behavioral ticks amid nervous or uncomfortable situations that evoke an affection for him without force, and keep us from being totally distanced by the wacky nature of the world by which he is entrapped. The chemistry with Gainsbourg is solid too, achieving some touching moments in spots, specifically toward the end of the film.While not a tough viewing experience, nor an effort lacking any admirable aspects, The Science of Sleep is an overall unremarkable film that fails to accomplish much ponderous thought in the viewer once it comes to a close. It is adequately made and showcases a very good central performance, but the script is a tad misdirected with ideas that are overshadowed by an unfocused tone and eccentricities in the effects that elicit the impression that experimentalism was key in the motivation to get the film made.
A wildly original film tells you all the plot you need to really know in the early minutes. Our protagonist is a immature underachiever who finds himself amongst those of the same ilk. they are a society of people who accept mediocrity as a passing phase where our young man/boy has his fulfillment and adventure in his dreams. His apartment is transformed into a late night TV set where his confidence and communication skills are highlighted where in real life he can be equally creepy and charming. The language changes are abundant and often cause an audience reaction to wonder if this is a dream or reality. This fantasy is short on Hollywood satisfaction but endless in dreaming non-sense. IFinding this as interesting without being clearly meaningful is difficult but peeked my interest none the less and I'm glad I finally got my hands on the DVD