Vicky and Her Mystery review: Heartfelt tale of love and loss

Rating 3.5/5

‘Vicky and Her Mystery’ is a story of a little girl and her father who relocate to a small village after the mother passes away. They adopt a dog who brings a new light in their lives.

Story

Victoria (Shanna Keil) and her father, Stephan (Vincent Elbaz), relocate to his childhood home in a small village after the mother’s demise. Due to this trauma, little Victoria does not speak. She seems very grim and always has her headphones on. Meetings with her uncle Thierry (Eric Elmosnino) are one of the only few times that the lonely father and daughter seem to laugh.

One day when Victoria and her father go for a walk and lose their way back home, they come across a house where an old man lives. Here she finds a little puppy, Mystery, and decides to take it home. This encounter moves something inside of her and she starts talking again the very next day on her way to school and her father is ecstatic. Outside the school, Stephan meets Anna (Marie Gillain), a fellow parent who is a conservationist.

Though Victoria tries to keep Mystery a secret, her father is quick to spot him. They decide to adopt Mystery. The new addition to the family brings back the lost happiness and laughter in their life. It does not take very long for them to get attached with each other.

This village where the family of three find their new home, is terrorized by wolves. The wolves have taken lives of many cattle which inevitably leaves the farmers infuriated. The people are divided on how to take care of this situation. While one side wants to protect the wolves, the other wants to save their cattle and themselves.

Mystery grows big very fast. One day Mystery comes along to drop Victoria to her school. Upon seeing Mystery, Anna worries that Mystery might not actually be a dog.

Performances

Shanna Keil does a very noteworthy job. She does not seem unconvincing even for a second. Her expressions really brings out the pain and emptiness of a little girl who just lost her mother. Cuddling with a wolf and acting at the same time is very praiseworthy even by itself.

The concern and care of a father and a lonely husband; Vincent Elbaz fulfils all these roles and more very well. From his happiness when his daughter finally talks, to questioning his decisions as a husband and a surgeon; the actor is phenomenal.

Eric Elmosnino and Marie Gillain support the story well and add their own flavour.

Positives

Set in the mountains of France, the movie is a visual treat. Sweeping mountains, kilometres and kilometres of snow, beautiful wide farms and a small cozy village in the middle of it all; the cinematography establishes the place from the very first shot. This very charming place sets the background for the conflict between humans and nature.

The after effects of the loss of a family member are portrayed with details. The little girl remains silent while the father is sad but tries to hide his feelings and keep his daughter happy. The concerned uncle while also being sad, pays regular visits and tries makes them laugh.

The dynamic of the family is warm. It leaves a fuzzy feeling inside. Watching the father be all giddy when his daughter finally talks, the uncle making time for the lonely duo, the grim daughter laughing out loud when her father mentions “poop”; it makes the audience smile, watching such scenes play out.

The movie shows the different sides of the conflict. There is a pup who watches his parent being shot by humans from hiding, the wolves attacking the cattle, the farmers being distressed over this situation, the conservationists trying to save the wolves and in the center of all of this are Victoria and Stephan who only want Mystery to be a part of their family. This movie mostly refuses to take anyone’s side.

Negatives

The establishing of the relationship between Mystery, Victoria and Stephan is not very well fleshed out. There are very few scenes of them being happy together which leaves something more to be desired.

There is a sudden rush in the ending of the movie. The movie does not maintain its pace in the last few scenes.

Worth it?

‘Vicky and Her Mystery’ is worth a watch if you wish to watch a tearjerker which leaves a warm and fuzzy after taste.


Also read: Emily in Paris season 2 review: Guilty pleasure over weak plot

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