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Aishwarya Rai Bachchan,
The Provence, somewhere in the 1950's. Paul Verdier, traveling salesman, leaves his home and his quarrelsome wife for his weekly round. On the train he meets a young woman, Marie, who looks a little lost. No wonder. Marie is pregnant but lacks the customary husband. She's returning to her village but is not exactly looking forward to the confrontation with her parents and the villagers, all pretty conservative people. After getting to know Paul a little better (for which there is ample time during the trip by train and bus) Marie decides to ask Paul to act as her husband, just to allay the suspicions of her family. After some hesitating Paul accepts, charmed by the girl and unaware of the complications such is bound to cause to his own life. Written by
If film is the mirror of reality, look very closely and weep...
Fernandel is no doubt one of the greatest actors of all time and without challenge the greatest of his generation in France. Capable of playing farce and comedy as well as tragedy Fernandel her mingles both in a rather strange story. The atmosphere of the Provence is superbly captured in the first part of the movie when Fernandel has to take the bus because he forgot his train ticket. As the bus driver stalls the departure because his wife is about to give birth and then invites everyone on the bus to join the celebration the actual "savoir vivre" of the Provencal is demonstrated in detail. The long and intense monologue at the end of the movie grabs the spectator by the throat and makes you sit at the very edge of your seat. Although superbly made and acted the whole is sometimes a bit slow for modern tastes, but it only serves to make the climax that more intense.
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