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Kristin Scott Thomas,
Muriel, a writer nearing 50 whose older lover won't live with her in Paris, meets a man on a train - Samuel, an Arab. He's attracted to her and pursues her, dropping in, asserting himself. She's willing to connect. He's passionate, then boorish, then jealous and possessive. He seems fixed on "Who's the strongest?," while she wants respect and trust. She's self-possessed as well as sexually charged, willing to laugh, and alternately firm and forgiving. He has little money, no immigration papers, few prospects, and a gambling jag. What does each want, and why does she stick with it? Is this colonial strife, war between the sexes, or a love story? Written by
An intense film about a difficult and volatile relationship set in a district of Paris. Muriel (Nathalie Baye) meets Samuel (Daniel Duval) on the train, he says he would like to spend the night with her. Later he tracks her down and in spite of herself, Muriel enters into a relationship with Daniel, which is the subject of the film. Samuel proves to be a proud passionate and insanely jealous man. Muriel is a successful film editor who lives alone but involved in a relationship that is coming to an end. Why should she entertain Samuel with his male machismo, his temper, his rough sex and his possesiveness, well the film succeeds in making us believe that she would. Nathalie Baye and Daniel Duval really rub sparks together, whether they are fighting making love or eating out in public. They are on screen nearly all the time and the intensity of their relationship is echoed by the films concentration on them.
The film explores other issues as well. Samuels ethnic background (probably North African) and his attitudes to women, Nathalie and the Successful Sophisticated Parisians in Nathalies circle. Two worlds collide indeed. This film is well worth seeing if at times a little uncomfortable. Brilliantly acted particularly by Duvall who has the difficult task of making his character sympathetic and succeeds.
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