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In the second of Rohmer's moral tales, he examines the relationship between two friends and a girl who at first appears easily exploited. It is a complex tale of feelings and misconceptions, acted out within the head of the main character, as part of Rohmer's attempt to more easily simulate the mindscape quality of literature within a film. Written by
David Gibson <email@example.com>
Takes awhile to get to where it's going, but offers a true statement regarding treatment of women.
Suzanne's Career, the second of Eric Rohmer's "Six Moral Tales," is an intriguing little drama encircling the lives of three students: Bertrand, our slightly naïve narrator, Guillaume, a chauvinistic leech, and Suzanne, an easily manipulated, clingy girl whom they take advantage of. In comparison to The Girl at the Monceau Bakery (the first moral tale), Suzanne's Career is significantly darker, better acted, but somehow less effective. There's more meat here, but something gets lost in translation. It is still a good film, but it drags in places and sometimes becomes a little monotonous. If a viewer can get past that, though, the last fifteen minutes of the film is easily the best part of the entire movie.
At the beginning, we see Bertrand and Guillaume, two young college boys, having a conversation with Suzanne, a girl whom they've just met. Guillaume decides early on to use the girl, manipulate her emotions, exploit her in any way he can. And he does so effectively, for awhile. Guillaume flirts with other girls in Suzanne's presence, talks down to her, lives off of her money completely regretless. Throughout the whole thing, Bertrand stands by. He is torn between whether or not to go against his friend, who he looks up to, or to join him and manipulate the girl in order to benefit himself.
This is a fairly good film. It is longer than the first moral tale, but not quite feature length. The moral dilemma here, concerning fair and right treatment of women, is very interesting to watch unfold. It takes a little too long to get to where it's going, though. The middle drags on for longer than it needed to. There is no question that the two male characters are absolute pigs, but watching them act on their chauvinism gets a little old after awhile. However, good narration, an excellent plot, and a good statement about how people should be treated salvage this moral tale. Suzanne's Career is definitely worth the hour.
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