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A random montage of disturbing images tell a story about one summer in the lives of two teenagers who somehow find love within each other, Orso and Marie. After they realize this, they run off to a hidden island off the coast of France where they can not be bothered until Orso's hunger for danger and crime become too much for him, forcing him to return to his normal life... Written by
Two teenagers, male and female, together in an isolated place... Not too original, but if compared to some other preceding movies, there are a lot of differences.
"Friends", "Blue Lagoon", "Spielen wir Liebe", "Paradise"... all of them come from 70's. "Marie baie des anges" is two decades late. Maybe this makes it so unlike its ancestors.
How do teenagers appear in those places? In Blue Lagoon they grow up on desert island, in Friends run away from adults, in Paradise from danger, in Maladolescenza they look for secret place but keeping contact with other world. Feelings? Fearing adults, loving each other in Friends, exploring and (self)discovery in Blue Lagoon, bullying and violence in Maladolescenza. Ending? Tragic in Blue Lagoon (acciental) and Maladolescenza (violent), reintegrating in Paradise and Friends.
And Marie offers a new combination. Main characters run away rejected by peers (Orso also running from law), feelings are superficial and ending is tragic in the most pointless way.
One of the rare binding motifs is teenage sexuality. In Blue Lagoon it is innocent and has to be discovered from nothing, in Paradise it exists and develops, in Friends it is careful because of abuse and slowly grows to real love, while in Maladolescenza appears and increases as one of the bully patterns. In Maria, however, nothing has to be discovered: sex has already been their way of life before they met and sailed into isolation.
So, the only movie that shows that teenagers don't need special circumstances to be involved in sex, and admit it is a big part of their life, has been made recently, when it became fashionable to close our eyes and say that teenage sexuality doesn't exist because we don't want to see it. The consequence? Number of teenage pregnancies and STD is a lot bigger now than it was in 70's when movies were more free to show reality (and today most of them are found controversial, on black lists and usually can't be found at all). Of course, it was not a merit of movies that situation was better before, it is a matter of the society.
There is one thing that shows Marie was made recently: among these movies it is the only one without nudity (at least teenage characters). Sometimes it is advantage, sometimes limitation. It is hard to believe that two teenagers, obviously practicing sex a lot and living alone on the island, would be fully clothed all the time in the middle of summer. But today it's not easy to show things that were allowed in 70's. On the other hand, great scene of Maria's dance was extremely erotic (and was meant to be) just because of her dress. It could be compared to Dawn Dunlap's dance in Hamilton's Laura, but she was seducing only a camera in her mother's hand so her (very beautifully filmed) dance looked more like gym exercise, while Marie was openly seducing male, older fishermen on the beach. Laura was nude, Marie erotic.
Photography is something that all of the mentioned movies rely on. And it doesn't fail. Landscape in Friends is not so attractive, but used very well, and unlike the rest of these movies it has great carefully made indoor scenes. Island in Marie can't be compared to Blue Lagoon, but there is a perfect match between the actors and the surrounding nature. Only Maladolescenza doesn't take place at the sea, and the beautiful landscape emphasizes the dark side of the story. Nature is not perfect enough to change people. Violence and evil from inside destroy the beauty. Both Fabrizio and Orso want to keep everything under their control, but aren't able to do it. Orso maybe thinks he loves Marie while Fabrizio seems to be almost split between childish friendship and violent domination, incapable to share love. However, after causing a tragedy we feel there is a hope for Fabrizio to learn and change in future, while Marie's death becomes a trigger of Orso's final insanity and sinking into crime and madness.
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