5 X 2 - CINQ FOIS DEUX (a film review by Mark R. Leeper)
CAPSULE: It is no longer particularly original to tell the story of a doomed romantic relationship in sequences shown in reverse order. This film has little to offer beyond that. Rating: 0 (-4 to +4) or 4/10
A rather uninteresting couple has an ill-fated love affair and marriage. The story is told in five sequences. The gimmick--and it is getting to be an over-familiar one--is that we see the sequences in reverse chronological order. We start with Gilles (Stéphane Freiss) and Marion (Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi) being divorced and hearing the terms. We see their marriage dissolving. Eventually this section of the film is at an end and we move back to a sequence late in their marriage. We continue through four earlier sequences with the film showing them first being attracted to each other. A sad story gets a happy ending because the ending is really the beginning.
In another sense this film has a happy ending. These are two attractive people, but beyond that we see no reason to want to see them pass on their genes. There seems to be no depth to either of them except for their interest in sex. There may be dimension to them that we do not see, but how would we know? These vacuous people probably get what they deserve at the beginning of the film and we see no reason to lament it.
The popular music in the film is nice. The mechanism of showing the scenes in reverse order is really the film's whole interest value, but it is becoming a timeworn gimmick and this is one of the least interesting films to use it. It goes back at least to the 1983 film BETRAYAL, written by Harold Pinter.
Mark R. Leeper firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2005 Mark R. Leeper
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