At her son's funeral, Solange, a lawyer famous for losing hopeless cases, agrees to defend René, her son's age, accused of murdering his wealthy aunt, Jeanne, who's part of the Franco-Belgian Psychoanalytic Society, known for odd views and methods. She reads Jeanne's journal, documenting René's criminal tendencies. Solange believes him innocent, manipulated into the murder or framed. Odd psychiatrists turn up, including Georges Didier, who runs FBPS, and his rival, Christian, who believes crime originates in a story's taking hold of a person. After the verdict, René and Solange's relationship changes, Georges and his society commit a bizarre act, and the police record Solange's story. Written by
Briefly, a woman lawyer for a young man accused of killing his psychiatrist aunt gets him acquitted, falls in love with him (?), becomes his victim for blackmail, and finally kills him, apparently along with all of his friends. What I am about to say further reveals a sort of "surprise" ending, so please don't read on until you have seen the film!
It's all a flashback, as the lawyer tells her lawyer the story while in prison awaiting trial. On the surface, that's the story, but be warned that when you venture on this film, you enter a nightmare world where little is what it seems; all is indefinite. The adjective "surreal" is apropos, but the writer seems at once to be poking fun at the "science" of psychoanalysis, while "psychoanalysing" the audience. One of the "psycoanalysts" (I omitted the "h" intentionally)opines that everyone acts out a story from the past that is endlessly repeated. He summarises from an old story: the lawyer was the ghost of the aunt, seeking revenge on the man who killed her.
Catherine Deneuve is certainly fascinating enough to be both quick and dead, but is there any real sense to all of this? Probably not. I think the director was poking fun at all of us, while indulging in some wild and fascinating camera perspectives. If this sort of thing delights you, you'll love this film. Frankly, it's not my cup of tea, and I rated it a 5 of 10.
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