Driving with his wife Mylène Piccoli, Edgar takes a wrong turn and crashes his car,which leads to Mylène becoming a mute.
Desperate to complete the writing of his Sci-Fi novel (which is about an evil mastermind,who secretly drops metallic discs into peoples pockets,in order to control them),Edgar decides to put his free-wheeling life behind,and to instead put his head down and spend most of the time writing the book,and spending time with Mylène (who due to still being mute writes on boards.)Talking to Mylène,Edgar is given the excellent news that she is pregnant.
Attempting to relax from his writing,Edgar decides to take long walks around the near-by town.Due to it being a small island where everyone knows everything,the locals start to think that some is wrong with Edgar,due to how little he talks to any of them.Running into a number of locals, (from petty thieves to shop owners) Edgar finds his anger to boil over,which leads to most of the towns residence viewing him as a weirdo.Spotting a strange tower on the outskirts of the town,Edgar arranges 2 local thieves to sneak him in,which leads to Edgar discover that the mysterious resident of the tower is playing a rather peculiar game of chess.
View on film:
Whist she has hardly any lines of dialogue,the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve gives an exquisite performance as Mylène,thanks to Deneuve showing the psychological effect that Edgar's behaviour has had on Mylène,with Deneuve give Mylène a stoic face,which reveals the lack of emotion that she is receiving from Edgar.Entering the movie as a right playboy, Michel Piccoli gives a superb,rather subtle performance as Edgar,whose self-centred edges soften,as Piccoli shows the weight of Edgar's chess game with the mysterious stranger to slowly sink in.
Being one of the few women directors of the FNW,writer/director Agnès Varda shows that she can proudly stand her own ground against any guys of the FNW.Giving the film a rustic documentary quality via B&W footage of the towns shipping yard and shops.Allowing the viewer to sink into the B&W,Varda suddenly turns the film upside down,by brilliantly splashing the film with red,which along with expressing Edgar's boiling emotions,also gives the title an ultra- stylised chess motif,as Edgar finds out that there are people who he can't check-mate.