Glasgow Film Festival Review: Jumbo

Jeanne and Jumbo
Photo by Caroline Fauvet

In the 21st century, love and sex come in countless shapes and sizes. Whilst many traditional cultures still adhere strictly to a marriage between a man and a ‘woman’, which is consummated on the wedding night, this is no longer the norm. Indeed, my friend tells me that a quick search on the internet will illustrate that the human imagination has no bounds when it comes to getting your rocks off. As Jumbo attests, not all vibrating objects are truly inanimate.

Jeanne (Noémie Merlant), a shy young woman, starts a new job as a cleaner in the amusement park where she has spent much of her childhood. Although her mother (Emmanuelle Bercot) despairs about her lack of friends and lovers, she is happy to spend time alone; obsessed with creating miniature versions of the rides. However, during night shifts she strikes up a connection with Jumbo, the star attraction.

Jumbo is a strange and offbeat tale of sexual attraction and electronic intimacy. Writer/Director Zoé Wittock’s feature debut is a dazzlingly brave and beautifully shot sci-fi/drama. It plays with a number of fascinating concepts and the cast do a good job, but it’s a push to stretch the story out into the runtime. Which is a shame really as there’s much to admire in the filmmaking here. Despite this, Jumbo is an unlikely and captivating story.

Jumbo Screened at Glasgow Film Festival and is released in cinemas by Anti-Worlds on 9 July.

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