In an enchanted forest, back in the time of the Druids, the shepherd Céladon and the shepherdess Astrée share a pure and chaste love. Fooled by a suitor, Astrée dismisses Céladon, who throws himself into a river out of despair. She thinks he's dead, but he's been secretly rescued by some nymphs. Faithful to the promise he made to Astrée to never appear before her again, Céladon must overcome many obstacles to break the curse. Mad with love and despair, coveted by the nymphs, surrounded by rivals, and obliged to disguise himself as a woman to be near the one he loves, will he manage to make himself known without breaking his oath? A romance filled with doubt, hazards, and delicious temptations. Written by
Huh?! I can't believe I am so at odds with most of the rest of the reviews on this one...
Apparently Astrea and Celadon are in love but cannot publicly display it since their families hate each other. So, Celadon pretends to love another--and ultimately Astrea incorrectly assumes he is being unfaithful to her. So what does this knucklehead do? He tosses himself into the river when she confronts him and tells him never to talk to her again. She naturally assumes he drowned in the river and sulks through most of the film. However, and this is really odd, he does not reveal to her that he's alive--after all, she DID tell him never to speak to her again AND he was the perfect lover and could not violate this command. So, to get around this command, later he is introduced to her as the druid priest's daughter--and she/he and Astrea become close friends and confidantes.
I understand that director Eric Rohmer is a beloved New Wave director and I understand that the reviews for his final film, "The Romance of Astrea and Celadon", are mostly very positive here on IMDb. However, despite knowing I SHOULD love his work and this film, try as I might, I just don't get this adoration. Sure, I have enjoyed a few of Rohmer's films but by and large, I just can't help but feel perplexed by his fans. And, of all the films of Rohmer's I have seen, I think that, to me, "The Romance of Astrea and Celadon" is perhaps the least enjoyable. The plot made little sense, the plot device of having Celadon dress as a woman made even less sense and the film just seemed incredibly talky and dull. If this is about what true love is supposed to be about, then I guess I know absolutely nothing about love---I just thought Celedon was a bit of a yutz and his actions seemed less like the ideal lover and more like a complete fool.
So was there anything I liked about the film? The cinematography was nice and the director did create an amazingly beautiful and sensual picture. But the plot made no sense, the story quite slow and the film bored me to tears. I just don't seem to see in this film what everyone else sees.
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