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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

DVD Review-Science of Sleep

Alain Chabat plays Guy and Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane in Science of Sleep, which portrays a relationship through dreams.  Photo courtesy Warner Pictures
Alain Chabat plays Guy and Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane in Science of Sleep, which portrays a relationship through dreams. Photo courtesy Warner Pictures

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Alain Chabat plays Guy and Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane in Science of Sleep, which portrays a relationship through dreams.  Photo courtesy Warner Pictures
Alain Chabat plays Guy and Gael Garcia Bernal plays Stéphane in Science of Sleep, which portrays a relationship through dreams. Photo courtesy Warner Pictures

In Michel Gondry’s perspective of the world, the line between real and unreal is blurred.

Memories can be erased and altered; dreams can be real life and vice versa, and the imagination can be the only sane part of reality.

Science of Sleep, recently released on DVD, is a fresh take on a romance that is nothing like it seems.

Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shows a failing relationship using the power of memories, but this quirky flick portrays the possibility of a new relationship through dreams.

The only problem is the audience doesn’t ever really know what is dream or what is reality.

Gael Garcia Bernal, with his talented filmography, prevails as the shy, introverted Stéphane, a man who teeters between consciousness and dreaming.

He spends half of his time explaining the brain to a camera made out of cardboard boxes on his make-believe TV show in his dreams and the other half deciphering what is real. As his mother says, Stéphane inverts dreams and reality.

After Stéphane’s father dies, he moves from Mexico to France to take a job his mother has suggested. He learns the position is not the job his mother described but a lowly job of typesetting in a basement with a group of dysfunctional colleagues.

He absolutely loathes the job, but his days, and his dreams, turn to the better when he meets Stéphanie, the next door neighbor with a hobby of making cloth animals and boats.

The whole movie is a stew pot of dreams, reality, French, Spanish English and a dash of romance, and I loved every frantic minute of it.

My only complaint-—the film seems to be missing just a little bit of something, that certain something that made Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind great. Maybe Charlie Kaufman, the co-writer of Eternal

Sushine, is what the film needed.

Bernal has been one of my favorite up-and-coming actors, and I enjoyed watching him play a very different character from his other roles, such as in The Motorcycle Diaries and Bad Education.

He does a great job as the shy dreamer, making the whole audience sympathize with his reactions in his relationship with Stéphanie, except when Stéphane is a tad bit on the creepy side.

Charlotte Gainsbourg (21 Grams) plays the soft-spoken Stéphanie, and Alain Chabat is Guy, a crass unlikely friend of Stéphane. Both give Stéphane’s imagination a nice foundation of reality.

I give the movie and the DVD four stars out of five. The special features do not really add anything, but I enjoyed the trailer for Science of Sleep.

The DVD extras include a theatrical trailer and a couple of “making of” featurettes. Although they are not fantastic, they provide a few insights to dream segments.

The disc also includes a few oddball short films about cat adoption. Yeah, I was confused by the whole cat adoption thing, but then again, this is a Gondry DVD.

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