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In 19th century, a disillusioned priest helps a young boy drifter who's a chess wunderkind to move on up in life and social structures using his talent. Years later, he's a success, but game of life and love has higher stakes than chess.
But no return to cloak and dagger style which was trendy in France un the 1955-1965 years.King Louis the thirteen's reign does not interest that much the scriptwriters,and since "les trois mousquetaires " and one ersatz "le capitan" circa 1960,it's virtually forgotten.
"L'amour conjugal" has nothing to do with cloak and dagger stories ;there are historical allusions,notably the duels which were forbidden by Louis the thirteen's minister,Cardinal de Richelieu and a war ,but which one?Probably the Thirty Years war.But actually ,this is the story of a fallen noble (Samy Frey),who marries a strange woman (Caroline Sihol ).This is a work for highbrows fond of mental masturbation.Most of the action takes place in the nature and the historical context is quickly forgotten .The tempo is very slow and the characters are not very endearing.It seems that the director's ambitions were greater than his skills and you often yawn your head off."L'amour conjugal" has reasons that reason does not know :this love can blossom only when a ritual -vengeance -is accomplished for both of them.A short epilogue ,taking place seven years later ,seems to show that the couple has finally found peace of mind.In fact this story could happen nowadays: was the seventeenth century more bestial,more violent and more ruthless than ours?So why this era?
It's a joy to see Matthieu Carrière but his part is so small that it does not do him justice.
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