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In an unidentified country in 18th century Europe, a usurper's daughter has inherited the throne and feels guilty about her family's crimes. She learns that a rightful heir exists but has been taught to hate her and reject all love, and who additionally is kept in seclusion to protect him from her. Spying on his household, she falls in love at the first sight of him, suggesting an obvious happy ending as regards the throne. But to even get close enough to him to talk about it, she must embark on a series of bribes, deceptions, and seductions... Written by
The film is based upon a famous 18th century play by Pierre de Marivaux. In keeping with its theatrical roots, there are brief shots interspersed throughout of a modern audience in the garden. See more »
This movie is about a princess simultaneously seducing a prince, his protégé and the protégé's sister, portraying herself as either a man or woman, all in the name of undoing a wrong that her family has done to the prince's a long time ago. It has some wit, with some wordplay, some farce comedy, and the slow breakdown of each of the character giving in to her seduction. But the buildup and final revelation at the end does not have the usual Shakespearean touch, where she would get closer and closer to being revealed, until a final big bang. This film just didn't have that, although it did produce some laughs when the protégé and his sister both come out dressed in clothes they otherwise would never be caught wearing.
The camerawork plays a bit with its jump cuts, trying to impose some sense of realism to this otherwise lack of stagey feeling film. The sudden revelation of the audience did not occur frequently enough to signify anything beyond an aberration of the plot.
Still, an interesting film with good interaction between characters, and a little insight to French plays of that period.
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