Anyway, it was lots of fun. It’s not the sort of film I am inclined to analyze, at least not after seeing it only once, so I won’t say all that much about it, but it was clearly the work of a director who was very much in control of his material — big sets, a cast of hundreds, carefully arranged details all over the place, etc. — and I was particularly impressed with the sound design. Tati is sometimes regarded as a silent comedian of sorts, and that’s true enough of the character he plays in his films, but this one wouldn’t be half as interesting, or amusing, without the sound design.
I also find myself wondering if the film’s fond spoof of modernism is funnier now that we have moved past that era and can safely mock it from afar, or if it was funnier back then when its original audience was still living through that era.
One last thought: Way back when, I remember observing that, while Rowan Atkinson’s Mr. Bean character is something of a silent comic too, the movie Bean (1997) completely missed the boat by building a very lame and conventional comedy around the character, instead of exploiting his silent-comedy potential. That was before I had seen Blake Edwards’ The Party (1968), starring Peter Sellers; and it was definitely before I had seen this. It’s so good to see somebody has realized this sort of potential.