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This is hardly the first time such a story (the bridegroom falling in love just before the wedding ceremony) has been told, so no big shock or even surprise can be expected from "Pourquoi tu pleures?" on that score. And yet how come Katia Lewkowicz's first feature film, far from being trite and predictable, sounds different? The answer may lie in the unusual treatment given to the story by the writer-director. Neither a sugary Hollywood-like romcom nor a standard French sentimental psychological film, "Pourquoi tu pleures ?" chooses to plunge the audience into a troubled mind, that of its "hero", a thirty-five-year old man wavering at a key crossroads of his life: should he let the marriage preparations proceed and run their course (there are a lot of guests, many on the bride's side coming all the way from Israel) and marry Anna, a young woman he is not sure to be really in love with), or give a kick in the anthill and create a scandal by choosing true love with Léa, a nightclub singer he has just met. More than the situation itself, it is actually its subjective approach that makes it worthwhile. By being put in the main protagonist's head the viewers become Arnaud and see the facts only through HIS eyes and for a limited time (the four days leading to the wedding ceremony). They will not know everything about him, owing to the fact that Arnaud does not keep saying to himself "I am this or I like that". For instance, Arnaud does not work during these four days : is he on the dole or has he taken a few days off? Another example: he and Anna, his fiancée, do not seem particularly attracted to each other ; why ? And why has Anna disappeared without a trace only to reappear two days before D-day? Arnaud has or does not have the answers, but he does not speak to himself, so you will not know. A bit frustrating in the first place, the device finally proves fruitful as it adds to an impression of true insight, which makes the movie more valuable than if it was told plainly with all the details. "Pourquoi tu pleures" is a rare example mental wandering as experienced by the mental wanderer himself. Arnaud, the lost young man is ideally played by songwriter-singer Benjamin Biolay, whose slightly soft face and look are in perfect accordance with the character). Another quality of that film is that while freewheeling Arnaud meets a bunch of colorful characters embodied by excellent actors such as Emmanuelle Devos (hilarious as Arnaud's eccentric sister), Valérie Donzelli (a very intriguing fiancée) and Nicole Garcia (irresistible in the role of Arnaud's whimsical childish self-centered mother). On a more traditional note, Katia Lewkowicz first feature also works fine: the director indeed manages to build up and maintain suspense right to the last minute: you really cannot guess what Arnaud will end up doing, which guarantees a powerful ending, whatever his option. Quite a good first film, directed talentedly by a demanding artist who refuses to round up the usual clichés. Her next opus is expected with interest.
This was one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I just walked out of it at the Jewish Film Festival in NYC. Each character is annoying and unlikeable. That alone would be fine if the director made them at least interesting or believable. Each character is constantly in physical motion and extremely neurotic. The main character is a man-child who has no regard for anyone or anything and his fiancée is a woman who no man would think of marrying since she disappears before her wedding and refuses to speak to her future groom. I would avoid seeing this move at all costs - it is disingenuous and thoroughly annoying to watch. Too bad talented actors (especially Devos and Garcia) are wasted on stereotypical characters with no nuance.
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