Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory...
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Colonel Chabert has been severely wounded in the French-Russian Napoleonic war to the point that the medical examiner has signed his death certificate. When he regains his health and memory, he goes back to Paris, where his "widow", Anne has married the Count Ferraud and is financing his rise to power using Chabert's money. Chabert hires a lawyer to help him get back his money and his honor. Written by
Dragomir R. Radev <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A haunting story, but one longs for straight forward tale telling
First, let me confess that I have not read this particular Balzac novel, so maybe I am directing my cavils unfairly at director and editor. Still my experience with Balzac in other stories is that he writes as a realist, not an obscurantist. This is most certainly a film worth one's while, but one is left sorely puzzled at the end. Was the Colonel a fraud, used by the lawyer for his own ends (or for whose beyond himself); or was the Colonel not a fraud, but used as aforesaid by the lawyer; or did the lawyer truly try to serve the honest Colonel? The director and/or the editor appear to me to have deliberately obscured these questions, which doesn't seem like Balzac, the realist. At the same time the film does an excellent job of delineating the characters, if not their motives, and the cast and production is superb. That opening battlefield scene is bound to haunt one's dreams. Still, one wonders at the all too common penchant among contemporary film makers to favor ambiguity above all else. Weren't the problems and motives of all these characters complicated enough for Yves Angelo?
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