„We all live in the imagination of a 9 year old child.”


Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? Do you often ask yourself ‘what if..’ ? What was before birth? Why are you yourself and not someone else? Are you asleep or are you awake? Are you conscious or unconscious? Is life an illusion or reality? Can you just get out of life and leave? All of those questions either lead to nowhere or everywhere.

Mr. Nobody (2009) is a French movie directed by Jaco van Dormeal that lives from the pure imagination of a 9 year old boy. Apparently, the angels of oblivion left him out and he can see into the future. At a crucial point in his life he has to choose between living with his mum and living with his dad. Since he can see what life he will lead for every possible choice he has, how can he choose? Anything remains possible as long as you do not choose.

Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) knows that he cannot go back after he has decided for an option, so he has to make the right choice. As a 117 year old he is the last mortal on earth and he begins to tell his story, but we only get to know fragments of his life. After all he tells, we cannot say which life he has leaded. But one person keeps reoccurring, no matter which direction his life goes he always meets Anna (Diane Kruger), the one. There are also Elise (Sarah Polley) and Jeanne( Linh Dan Pham). The story of Nemo is hard to explain and difficult to follow, but isn’t that the quintessence of life anyway?

Mr.Nobody uses very stimulating ways to make you aware of life and its possibilities. One very crucial aspect is time. Time is a result of the extension of the universe itself. Nemo appears to have control over his universe and thus time. However, at no point we can be sure that he actually is in control. His conscious and subconscious play tricks on us viewers. It draws us deeper into ourselves, into our inner state of mind, portrayed through Nemo’s plotlines in life. Can we always make sense of what we find there? How do we know what we see is not an illusion, produced by our dreams? The child-Nemo explains that everything we see exists – never can we see us in reality. Therefore we even need to question our very existence.

Mr. Nobody is one of the most complex films I have ever seen and as many times as I have seen it, I am still discovering new aspects about its theme.

A wonderful, well chosen Soundtrack leads us through Nemos fabulous imagination and draws us in to what we see on screen. The old man’s memories might seem confused, but there is perfect sense to it; the sense of life. And once its over all you can do is laugh and go back to how it started and embrace what is to come.


Jana Zacharias