Jules and Jim (1962)
Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.
In pre-WWI Paris, two friends, Jules (Austrian) and Jim (French), fall in love with the same woman, Catherine. But Catherine loves and marries Jules. When they meet again in Germany after the war, Catherine starts to love Jim - This is the story of three people in love, a love that doesn't affect their friendship, and about how their relationship evolves with the years.
In the years leading up to World War I, Jules and Jim are inseparable friends. Living in Paris gives them ample opportunities to expand their horizons as they discuss politics, the arts, and life in general. Jim is something of a ladies' man but Jules isn't so lucky. They soon meet Catherine, a free spirit, and the three of them enjoy life together. She soon agrees to marry Jules but with the arrival of the war the German Jules returns to his home country to serve in the army. Jim serves in the French army and both survive the war. It is a happy day when the two friends are reunited but Jules admits that his marriage has been less than successful and that Catherine has taken many lovers over the years. He loves her very much, however, and will go to any lengths to keep her with him. Jim and Catherine soon become lovers, with Jules' tacit approval, but Catherine's own needs and desires lead to tragedy.
It's the early twentieth century. Jules, an introspective Austrian, and Jim, an extroverted womanizing Frenchman, form an unlikely friendship when they meet in Paris, it based on the interests and outlook they do share such as writing, although do also embrace their differences. Inexperienced Jules falls for Catherine, a beguiling young woman prone to swings in temperament. While Jules and Catherine date, Jim is openly welcomed into many of their outings, she being a confidante to both of them. Jules and Catherine eventually do marry and have a daughter, Sabine. But an attraction also develops between Jim and Catherine, of which Jules is well aware. Their combined friendship is shown through their meeting, through the Great War where the two men are fighting on opposite sides, and physical separation as Jules, Catherine and Sabine move to rural Rhineland. But each person's relationship with the other two is complicated as it is not only based on their direct feelings for the person in question, but what he/she wants in life, and what the other two want and feel, which is especially important for Jim who has a serious girlfriend named Gilberte to consider as well.
In 1912 Paris, the French bon-vivant Jim meets the insecure German Jules and they begin a great friendship. When they meet the fickle, independent French Catherine, they immediately fall in love with her. However Jules' naiveness and fragility attracts the amoral Catherine and she marries him. With the First World War, best friends Jules and Jim are separated, but after the war they reunite in Jules's cottage in Germany. Jim stays with Jules, Catherine, and their daughter Sabine, and Jules tells his friend that while he has lived with Catherine she has had affairs with several lovers. When Catherine falls in love with Jim, Jules asks him to stay with her at his house. Through the years, Jules and Jim live a triangle of love with Catherine that never affects their friendship and respect.
- The film is set before, during and after the Great War in several different parts of France, Austria, and Germany. Jules (Oskar Werner) is a shy writer from Austria who forges a friendship with the more extroverted Frenchman Jim (Henri Serre). They share an interest in the world of the arts and the Bohemian lifestyle. At a slide show, they become entranced with a bust of a goddess and her serene smile, and travel to see the ancient statue on an island in the Adriatic Sea.
After encounters with several women, they meet the free-spirited, capricious Catherine (Jeanne Moreau), a doppelgänger for the statue with the serene smile. The three hang out together. Although she begins a relationship with Jules, both men are affected by her presence and her attitude toward life. Jim continues to be involved with Gilberte, usually seeing her apart from the others. A few days before war is declared, Jules and Catherine move to Austria to get married. Both men serve during the war, on the opposing sides; each fears throughout the conflict the potential for facing the other or learning that he might have killed his friend.
After the wartime separation, Jim visits, and later stays with, Jules and Catherine in their house in the Black Forest. Jules and Catherine by then have a young daughter, Sabine. Jules confides the tensions in their marriage. He tells Jim that Catherine torments and punishes him at times with numerous affairs, and she once left him and Sabine for six months.
She flirts with and attempts to seduce Jim, who has never forgotten her. Jules, desperate that Catherine might leave him forever, gives his blessing for Jim to marry Catherine so that he may continue to visit them and see her. For a while, the three adults live happily with Sabine in the same chalet in Austria, until tensions between Jim and Catherine arise because of their inability to have a child.
Jim leaves Catherine and returns to Paris. After several exchanges of letters between Catherine and Jim, they resolve to reunite when she learns that she is pregnant. The reunion does not occur after Jules writes to tell Jim that Catherine suffered a miscarriage.
After a time, Jim runs into Jules in Paris. He learns that Jules and Catherine have returned to France. Catherine tries to win Jim back, but he rebuffs her, saying he is going to marry Gilberte. Furious, she pulls a gun on him, but he wrestles it away and flees. He later encounters Jules and Catherine in a famous (at that time) movie theater, the Studio des Ursulines.
The three of them stop at an outdoor cafe. Catherine asks Jim to get into her car, saying she has something to tell him. She asks Jules to watch them and drives the car off a damaged bridge into the river, killing herself and Jim. Jules is left to deal with the ashes of his friends.
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS: By aditya10-828-343654
Scene 1: The lines which sum up the movie
You said ''l love you!''
and l said ''Stay!''
l nearly said ''Take me!''
but you said ''Go away!'' (Jules And Jim Script - Dialogue Transcript)
The above lines introduce the audience to the movie, immediately followed by the opening credits. The above lines have a very deep meaning, which are manifested as the movie proceeds. Eventually, it can be seen that these have actually summed up the entire film.
The credits follow, which show shots of the main male leads Jules, Jim and Catherine. For our knowledge the main leads are played by: Oskar Werner as Jules Henri Serre as Jim Jeanne Moreau as Catherine Importantly, Michel Subor as the Narrator
A first time viewer may not make much sense of the opening dialogs, but, the credits are a treat to watch in itself. There are wide-angled shots of Jules and Jim wiling away their time together, and having fun everywhere. Most scenes here show them having a good time and indulged in activities where they are involved together, like a mock fight or Jules lunging on to Jim. The lovable face of Jeanne Moreau is shown in one of the shots. The scene also introduces us to the supporting cast like Albert and Sabine who have some role to play in the coming events.
A couple of interesting observations can be made here: 1. The film actually breaks certain unwritten rules and tries to sum up the story with its opening shot. 2. Like a true path-breaking movie representing the French New Wave era, the credits are filled with images and clips of the actors, involved in interesting activities, something which we have grown to watching at the fag end, in case of other movies. This is a unique way of introducing the characters beyond their screen names. 3. Also, the entire credit sequence is shot in bright lights, and depicts a very warm and positive mood, in stark contrast to what unfolds in the later scenes. All in all, the scene succeeds in building the right mood and setting a tone for the rest of the film.
Scene 2: Bonding and Flirting
The story begins from this scene, and as against the traditional way of introducing each character separately, the movie starts with both Jules and Jim together in the first scene. The lack of history about the male leads is compensated by a sound narration in the background. The entire scene is, in fact, narrated and talks about how the duo meet. Jim actually helps Jules in getting an entry to a ballet performance. As they interact, a friendship blooms, and they are now seen spending most of their time together. Of course, they are chasing girls, with Jim being more successful. The scene towards the end, clearly outlines the chemistry between them. More importantly, it portrays two different characters Jim, as a more convincing and stable guy for relationships as against Jules, who is shy and not the one to create a lasting impression on women. Another notable point is the common interests of the duo in literature, indifference to money and also in women (they go for a threesome as mentioned).
Scene 3: The Hitch-Hiker
The scene introduces the first major woman character in the film Teresa (enacted seamlessly by Marie Dubois) Against all accusations of Truffaut showing shades of misogyny, this character actually exudes waves of free living. Teresa is a free radical, and beyond her daylight garb of an anarchist (a somewhat harsh term for a girl who paints the walls of Paris with sarcastic remarks on the incumbent), she actually searches a new shelter (read man) every night. On one such night, she is on a running spree from her accomplice (in painting walls), and meets Jules and Jim. There is an instant chemistry thanks to her cheerful presence. She is happy to meet Jim and Jules, to which Jim corrects with a Jules et Jim. Thus, comes a recall of the movie title in a way the characters would like to put it. The scene also informs of Jim dating Gilberta, making Jules the man to take Teresa to his house. The scene at the house begins with Jules resetting the hourglass and describing it as better than a clock. The entire dialog by Jules can be interpreted metaphorically as his preference to a quiet life or relationship compared to a constant ticking. The scene reinforces the sweet nature of Jules, and is followed by a spectacular performance by Teresa who smokes the cigarette like a steam engine and hops around the room. The scene is really enlightening and on hindsight one can say, its the story of her life, where although she can move places and call it freedom, but, it is always bound by certain boundaries like the tracks of a steam locomotive.
Scene 4: The elusive Lady Luck
The opening shot shapes up the character of Jim as a sorted person. True, he is dating a girl, but, he leaves for the day even after her insistence, because, he firmly believes in letting the relationship thrive over time before going for something like a Live-in with Gilberta. The next shot is of Jules, Jim and Teresa at an eating table, where Teresa suddenly deserts their company to get in conversation with another man. Her style is the same as Jules experienced the other night and something which disappoints Jules again. Jim does console him, only to watch Jules reminiscing his past girlfriends, and showing their photographs. Jules also chalks out a face on the table of his past love, which Jim attempts to buy from the hotel owner. This goes to show the camaraderie between the two and the way, they attach importance to each others emotions. A clear contrast can be seen here between Jules and Jim wrt relationships. Jules is sweet, shy and somehow very obvious in his keenness to have partners, whereas, Jim is more thoughtful, patient and never outrightly judgmental for a girl, as in the case of Gilberta. Notably, Teresa is the first instance of a free spirit, and her tendency to move on from staying at one place, to another every night is not just about finding a new shelter every night, but, is more about referring to the aspiration of moving on from one partner to another, and leading life on terms. Maybe, she doesnt influence the society much as an activist of anarchy, but, she does have elements of anarchy in her own life.
Scene 5: Finding the purpose of their lives
Its a new day, when the duo meet Jules friend Albert. Albert is showing them a slideshow of pictures of different statues. The reason why they go for this isnt known. The description here by Jules for Albert is very interesting He knows all those
who'll be famous in years (Jules And Jim Script - Dialogue Transcript) These lines can double up to also mean that Albert is the person who now knows Jules and Jim well, and these are the characters who are famous even today. Probably, a far-fetched idea, but, these lines exude the directors confidence in the plot, knowing already that these characters will become evergreen in the memories of the viewer in times to come. Albert takes them through many photographs of statues he had clicked in different places, and suddenly Jules and Jim are struck by the Eureka moment. Jim requests for a particular photo to be seen again. This was the photo of a not-so-smooth finish sculpture of a woman with a very calm and enlightening smile. The peace this photo exuded, made Jules and Jim get hooked to it, and they pay a visit to the actual sculpture, which was displayed in an open-air museum at an Adriatic island. The scene enters into narration mode, and the soothing voice of Subor, does add intensity to the scene. The scene has our duo dressed alike, which goes to show either their homoerotic feelings for each other, which might sound clichéd, or rather their simple thought process of having fallen for the same smile. Jules and Jim spend the entire day sitting beside the statue and even after returning they seem to have a scarcity of words for what they had witnessed. They instantly decided that such a smile was rare, and if they ever found a woman with one, they would pursue it. These last lines mean very simply that if such a woman were to be found, both of them would definitely try to love her, which probably forms a backdrop for the rest of the movie, where they end up loving the same woman.
Scene 6: Think of the Angel, and you be blessed with one
Perhaps, one of the most critical scenes in the movie. It starts with Jules and Jim practising in a gym, when, Jim narrates excerpts from a book that he is writing. Autobiographical in nature, the novel is about Jim and Jules as Jack and Julian. It descirbes their friendship as queer, which in todays times is considered a derogatory way of addressing homosexuals. Jim actually cites these considering the time the duo spend together, and the concern and love they have for each other. Jules, also likes the work and offers to translate the same in German. This is the scene where the movie has tried to show Jules and Jim in the light of being a couple, but, in a very subtle manner. So, the viewer can either assume this to be true considering that direct representation of a same sex relationship in those days would have been a taboo. Else, some critics consider this argument far-fetched and that the relationship is merely platonic. Any which way, one cannot stop wondering about this, also considering that this movie is based on a novel by Henri-Pierre Roche who was known to have experienced some relationship of this kind. A better way of explaining this is that Jim is writing an autobiographical novel, which can be a tribute to Roche, and whether or not Truffaut wishes to clarify on the relationship of Jules and Jim, we already now from the life of Roche, that there were homoerotic feelings between him and his friend, which inspired his autobiographical novel. Anyway, the film so far keep us under the impression of the duo being a couple, in spite of their following the opposite sex. This is followed by a shower sequence, where Jules talks about 3 girls (French, Belgian and Dutch), invited for dinner. This is where, we witness the next from the appearance of Catherine (couldnt have been a better choice than Jeanne Moreau). The entire sequence has a very angelic feel to it, with Catherine shown to be walking down the stairs, almost like an angel, something which is a common feature in modern day Bollywood movies, where the entry sequence of the female protagonist is dramatized to the extent of showing her as the Goddess of beauty and poise. Jules and Jim witness a near dream Catherine is THE one. The woman they would pursue, because she has that enigmatic smile. Jules suggests no formalities during the party, and a touching of toes against the customary linking of arms. Probably, abolishing usage of formal addresses for each other is supposed to make the guest be at comfort with the entire party. The linking of toes is a contrast of sorts. The first impression it gives to the audience is that Jules is shying away, Jim is eager and Catherine is undecided. Further analysis of scenes will tell us if this is how the plot will unfold.
Scene 7: The race begins
Jules was head on heels after the coveted smile and the Lady herself. Catherine had an aura about herself, and Jules wasted no time in pursuing his dream girl. For almost a month, Jules was seeing Catherine, and used to meet Jim at the gym. Just as a logical extension to their friendship, Jim is invited by Jules to meet Catherine, who is eager to meet Jim, having heard a lot from Jules. Jules wants Jim to meet her, but, stay away from seeing her the other way. They meet pretty formally, and the plan is of an outing. Truffauts brilliance comes out in this scene as he blasts the stigma against a woman venturing out with two men. To overcome this situation, Catherine puts up a moustache, lights a cigar and leaves with the duo. His scene holds special importance, considering how a sweet friendship with two men, still needs to be concealed from the society. Truly, one can connect with such a situation around us, when a guy roaming about with two girls is a stud and a girl doing the same in the converse is a slut. Catherine finds it a lot more fun to see a man referring to her as Sir, and taking help to light his smoke. This scene sends the message that with a certain get-up, a woman can find her way in a patriarchal society. On the other hand, from Catherines perspective it is the sense of freedom from such social stigmas, and that a certain way an attitude of life can actually make men bow before you. Jules and Jim are really enjoying this outing, wondering if tit is a dream or is it actually raining. More so, each of them is captivated by the lady, and are simply following her. The very next scene is even more remarkable, where the trio plan to race on a bridge, and Catherine takes a false start before the count ends to win the race. Although she cheated, she makes a point with how just having an advantage initially, males dominated the society, and given an opportunity women can be more than an equal. It also symbolises the essence of the entire film, where pursuing the same woman with that enigmatic smile is the purpose of the lives of Jules and Jim. In fact, this scene beautifully captures all these aspects together, and similar to the opening dialogues of the film, it actually captures the gist of the whole film. After the race, Jules talks to Jim about Catherines background importantly mentioning that she teaches Shakespeare. Well, this takes us back to the scene with Teresa and the duo, where Jules was talking about Shakespeare. Clearly, love for Jules would mean those enigmatic smiles followed by a Shakaespearean connect. The scene ends with Jim agreeing to pick up Catherin from her house for the station. This is, as the trio would be travelling some place the next day. It cannot be known, the reason why Catherine asked for Jim to do the honors and not her date Jules.
Scene 8: Jimmy me
Jim arrives at Catherines place, and it unusual pack-up for her, when she does an unusual thing. She starts burning many letters, and tells Jim that she is burning lies. She obviously is heart-broken with some past relationships, and thinks its best to flush them out of her memory lane before leaving for the trip. Her gown catches fire in the process, and Jim helps her out. The previous frame shows her frock quite away from the fire, but, it catches fire in the very next instant. This goes to show probably, about future possibilities of Cats misdemeanours which will be cleaned up by Jim. Although, a very ridiculous thought, this is how the erstwhile society would have perceived the character of Catherine and the reaction of Jim throughout the movie. Cat is also seen packing a bottle of sulphuric acid with her. She keeps it to punish men who lie. The aggressive heart burnt side of Cat comes out in the open. Jim persuades her to drain out the same, and, eventually the duo leave for the station.
Scene 9: Threes a crowd!
The trio rent a house somewhere far way from Paris on a coast. After a good nights sleep, they leave for the beach. They go on a random scavenger hunt and find cigarette butts and bottles, left by past travellers. Just, when Catherine utters I think we are lost, is when Jules discusses with Jim about planning to marry Catherine. I think the connect is signifying the lack of clarity in the relationships the tri share with each other. Jim, at this point believes that Catherine is not meant to be a doting wife, who would be content leading a life with her husband and children. He describes her as above the earthly laws and an apparition. Clearly, this is a contrast as Catherine, as a woman is definitely one of a kind, who is like a free radical, whereas as Jules and Jim are more like men bound by the patriarchal thinking of the society. Jules adamant for a frank opinion from Jim, which is what goes to show how enamored Jules is with the lady, but, how at the back of their minds both Jules and Jim know the eccentricity of Catherine is boundless. All in all, society teaches us to seek stability from a relationship, whereas, Cat believes in the personal freedom and unpredictability that should guide here relationships. Catherine also talks about the thoughts from a German book, where the lines say what Catherine really believes in -
The sky we see...
is a bubble no bigger than this
We walk with our heads
pointed at the center
What's beyond the crust?
Who knows? That's not a question
for gentlemen to answer (Jules And Jim Script - Dialogue Transcript) These lines clearly outline Catherines thinking of life. The whole idea of these lines is how the society has made us into believing into its established rules, and we keep coming back to it, never daring to think, if something beyond all this is possible too. A few shots back, Jim had conveyed similar thoughts about Catherine. The entire scene makes us know a lot more about Catherine, and also wonder as to who understands her better Jules or rather Jim?
The scene ends with Jules reminding Cat of his proposition of marriage and requests for an answer by the next day. Jules and Jim are now shown playing Dominos and are quite engrossed in the game with each other. So much so, that they almost ignore the presence of Catherine. Another instance of her aggressive nature emerges, as she attempts to draw attention to her by narrating tales weird and funny. First, she recounts her childhood fantasy of meeting Napolean in a lift and getting pregnant with his child. Interestingly, the original book describes this as a dream of Catherine. This tells us something about her nature. She then recites a pretty sad joke, and then laughs about it. She wants someone to scratch her back for her, to which Jules responds with a funny one liner. Cat walks to him and slaps him, to which they all have a hearty laugh. To think about this, it is a moment showing how Catherine would rather live every moment of life in free will, and being spontaneous and how Jules and Jim would play a reactive role here. Catherine actually admits of never having laughed like this before, and the fluent actress Jeanne Moreau comes up with sad faces to describe herself before meeting the duo.
Well, she believes those those are past her, and now she is blissful. It rains the next day, and Cat wishes to go back to Paris. The scene really shows here capriciousness and spontaneity of taking decisions, and also of how Jim and Jules flow suit, without a reaction at all. It is one thing to be a free bird in a patriarchal society, and a complete elevation to have people like Jim and Jules with you who aid you in leading that ideal life. The scene ends, and our trio are now back in Paris.
Scene 10: The leap of fate'
Jim has just signed with his publisher, and as a celebration comes to Jules and Cat with gifts. He presents a beautiful Picasso work to the duo, and gifts a little hand (a stick) to Cat for scratching her back. A small gesture indicative of the previous scene at the island. Jim also has tickets for a Swedish play at night. The scene moves on to the inauguration of a bed for Jules, meant to be for the couple, and communicating the joys of being settled together. The next frame moves on to the finish of play, and the trio discussing it on the way back. This is actually a quality of the film, where the story moves on very quickly from on frame to another, without bothering for the usual slower shots, and going into details which can at best link the story, but, play no role in talking about the main theme. Truffaut has taken maximum care about managing maximum footage with the protagonists. Anyway, we now find the trio discussing the movie on the way back. The play was about a woman, who is as free-spirited as Cat herself. No wonder, she liked the character a lot. Jim, on the other hand, found the play pretty divergent, and didnt agree for the usage of vice to justify virtue. Discussing the play, really, brings out the male stigma about importance attached to virginity of a woman, which in fact, is a way to judge her dignity. The plot of the play, was about an impotent man (with a homo brother) all usual social taboos. Hence, Jim and Jules were worried more about the virginity of his wife, rather than her take on life. Jules enters the debate and advocates for the fidelity of a wife. He believes fidelity is secondary for men, and that as written in previous scriptures, thoughts advocated by Baudelaire all point towards the bitchiness of women, and Jules utters many more words against womanhood in general. Catherine, obviously takes offence to these remarks, and more so because wrt her life, she really believes and associates with the protagonist of the play. Jim, probably is sane enough to realise this and doesnt seem to support Jules; ranting against women. This is perhaps a very dominant feature in Truffauts movies. The message he wants to send with Cats character is resonated through other female characters of the movie too like Teresa and this protagonist of the Swedish play. Catherine is not the one to let it go, and she decides to protest against Jules remarks. She believes in making a statement and walks ahead and suddenly jumps into the Seine river. About the shot taken, it involved usage of two cameras (to capture her fall realistically and interestingly, as the body double was too high before the scene, Jeanne Moreau herself enacted this shot). Subors voice over takes over the scene and rightly so, as the act of Catherine is too amazing to be wasted with dialogues. Jules is shell shocked, Catherine wears the smile of a victorious general, and Jim, on the other hand is filled with admiration for the lady. So far, Jules is the one who has been clear with his love for Catherine, whilst Jim has been a secret admirer. He actually painted the jump of at in his mind, and imagined diving into the river and saving her. Its a way of enacting in the mind, something which cannot be done actually, considering she was Jules. The trio take a cab back home, and Cat asks Jim for a small meeting the next day. This is supposedly to take his opinion on their marriage. Jim agrees and walks back after what can easily be an eventful day, when they witnessed the lady of their dreams in her fullest form.
Scene 11: The mis(s)led rendezvous
Jim arrives at the café at 7:10 as decided, only about 10 minutes late. The deliberate delay can be described as a mentality of not being present at a meet before the woman. There is a small dialogue of some other customer, whilst Jim is shown immersed in rounds of coffee and smoking. This other customer is the actor Jean-Louis Richard, ex of Jeanne Moreau, speaking like a true heart burnt soul. Audience of that era would have connected with this short sequence more, knowing about the divorced couple.Catherine never does arrive at the café, and one thing can be said about this. Maybe, Jim would always have asked Catherine to stay away from the relationship. He was the one who read her very well, and knew that Jules cannot handle her as a wife. He was sure of Cat being a free spirit, and someone not suited enough for men of a patriarchal society. Maybe, Catherine guessed Jims opinion too, and probably gave the meeting a miss. For some reason, Jim actually missed her. The next scene is a telephonic conversation between Jules and Jim, where Jules talks about Cats approval and their marriage plans. He says, Cat arrived at the café, but pretty late. Not much is said about this missed rendezvous. The friends talk on phone, not knowing that it will be sometime before they meet again, with the First World War beginning, and France and Germany coming at loggerheads. Interestingly, when Jim makes fun of Jules French and his Austrian accent, Jules recites a few lines, which seem like the words of a general for his forces to eliminate the enemy. Little do they know, that this will be an event in their lives pretty soon.
Scene 12: Love proposes, war disposes
The war footage is shown from the archives, and is deliberately a shortened clip, in true Truffaut style of not deviating away from the premise of the film. As usual it shows devastation, depicts hideousness and the difference in war and peace. Jeanne Moreau has quoted in an interview: Fiction is as valid as reality, only better. A true summation of how war is to the affected, and to those who experience it only as news or through virtual games. The scene also shows Jims longing for a furlough, which never comes. What comes regularly is packages from Gilberta. Gilberta still is the epitome of an ideal woman prescribed by the society. Jim does get a chance to be in Paris for a week and in meeting with Gilberta, they discuss a possible marriage. Gilberta does understand Jim, and doesnt force for a marriage. They think about growing old together, something, which signifies a live-in relationship, and not the whirlwind. Jim is worried about the chance happening of meeting Jules at the front, something which will be the worst scenario of having to kill your best pal.
Scene 13: Jule(s) of thought
Jules keep writing to Catherine. He pens down his thoughts for her, not knowing if these letters could ever be posted. His feelings for Cat are at best sexual, and also about concerns for the soon to be born. His relationship appears more transactional. Knowing Catherine, it is surprising that Jules still considers her as the socially prescribed woman. Anyway, Jules is too happy to be posted on the Russian front. Although dangerous, he prefers it any day to killing Jim, had they met on the French front. Finally, the war clouds subside and Jules and Jim are able to correspond through letters again. Jim expresses his desire to marry too, and Jules invites him to his location (somewhere along the Rhine river), to witness the married life and judge for himself. Jim takes this as an opportunity, and travels to other places on his way to witness the fall-outs of the war. He witnesses mass graves, and the way war has changed demographics for ever. He also writes articles on these for a Parisian daily. Jules, on the other hand is leading a married life and they have a daughter Sabine.
Scene 14: What lies beneath
Catherine has come with Sabine to receive Jim. Her dressing makes Jim think, if she is compensating for the miss at the café. They walk through the pines and meadows and reach their chalet. Jim and Jules finally meet after what seemed like eternity. They inquire about the others and exchange hugs. They retort of each one not having changed much. In this scene, the music suddenly changes to a more melancholy one, something which is not present in the rest of the film. It signifies of a possible twist, and something really unprecedented is waiting to happen. The rest of the scene is about a lunch, some chatting about each others lives and taking Jim around the house. Jules is currently scripting for a novel on dragon flies. He has taken a liking to insects and plants, and even quit smoking. Not much happens in the scene anyway, and the usual chemistry between Jim and Jules is absent. All in all, the scene is more of a context setting for the rest of Jims stay and we can only guess, as to what will be unearthed later.
Scene 15: She loves me, She loves me not
Jim was supposed to be living at a house close to their chalet. In his conversations with Jules, he figured something wrong in their relationship. At night, he sits with Jim in his room, and tell it all. He describes how Catherine is a good wife and a mother, but, is too prone to getting off with a monotonous life. Jim is surprised, but Jules goes on with her past escapades, and her leaving home for about six months. Then, there is the return of Albert, who is recovering in a nearby village and his love for Catherine. He has fallen for her, wishes to marry her and take care of Sabine. Jules has slowly begun to accept the fact, that he isnt the one for Catherine and is preparing himself for leaving her. Jim, on the other hand, feels that Jules Buddhist monkish personality will never let Cat leave him completely. Although, the cat is definitely out of the bag, and Jim probably had figured it this way long back. The scene ends, on a dark night, and the next shot of twilight is also full of dark shades, showing Truffauts way of expressing the mood through nature.
Scene 16: Cat(ch) me if you can
Jim wakes up to a dawn, which he knows will rule the days to come with its foggy darkness. Jim spends time thinking of Jules revelations, and believes that Jules is wrong. He knopws Jules in and out, and also for a fact, that his sweetness isnt enough for Cat. He appreciates Jules frankness and soft stand on the near separation wth Cat. Really, it is the persistent feeling of Jules, that he is not the right man for Cat, that is causing these troubles. Jules still is a believer of the one-woman man and vice-versa concept, and this is what is stifling his relationship with Cat. On the other hand, Cat is a woman, who would leap into relationships just like she had jumped into the seine, and its part of her nature to be spontaneous about partners. On a particular night, Cat wishes to have a conversation with Jim. In her typical style, she asks him to pursue her, and they go into the woods. The conversation starts with a tell-all tale from Jim, where the movie so far is recounted. Jim confesses to missing Cat at the café. He also feels no particular resentment towards Cat, at least not more than Jules himself. Cat now gives her side of the story. She believes Jules is a sweetheart, but, only so much to it. The traits of Jules which she found attractive like his vulnerability, and hoped to heal them with her love, is what she found out were inseparable from Jules. Catherine as a woman, hates a status quo in a relationship, and couldnt stand the marriage for log. She also describes her escapades, and believes its always important to always settle the scores before starting it afresh. All this goes on, and Jim can only listen to what Catherine as a woman, is always likely to do. She is the real woman and will always have her bit to do in a relationship. She believes, her part with Jules is over, and they can never be together. The entire conversation lasts till dawn, and the dim light sequence only emphasizes on the phase of life each character is going through. The scene ends with Jim left thinking, if Catherine was actually hitting on him or was it just what he really wanted.
Scene 17: Loves never blind, lovers are
Albert pays a visit to the household. They discuss like old friends on reunion. Truffauts portrayal might baffle many, but its true that there cannot be the expected fireworks between Jules and Albert, now that Jules has accepted his fate. Hey discuss war, and Jim recounts the story of a soldier, who pursued his individual battle alongside the war. So much so, that he literally ived the process of love, love making and marriage through letters, and did it well. Just to say, that a one-way communication in a relationship, can always survive, and probably it is the staying together and reacting to each other part that makes an actual relationship, seem like a corpse on the shoulders. This is also true with Jules, who had a great life with Catherine, when they corresponded through letters. Truffaut emphasizes the importance of an epistolic relationship, and how it actually aids in keeping the two sides happy. Jims narration of this story is actually a tribute to Apollinnair. The scene ends, with Cat and Albert taking leave for practising on a song. I believe, here Jeanne Moreaus views are relevant, when she says: A triangular relationship is never fusional. It works because each of them is like a pole, absorbed into oneself, and seeking something from each partner. Here, is an example of a love triangle, not for the common love, but, also a lot of love for each other as well.
Scene 18: Even apart, we often meet again
This scene is where a beautiful song is played. Sung by Catherine, and strings strummed by albert, it beautifully describes, the initial loves bonding between Cat and Jules, and how it all went haywire. But, that want to be the end, and the couple gather their lives and live them on a new plane. It does seem like, a message from Cat to Jules. The song is meant to be sung by a man, and it appears beautiful, when certain lines arent translated, but, simply recited, adding to the beautiful mood created in the room. It is obligatory to quote this beautiful song, just for the simple way in which it describes the relationships from a writers point of view
She had rings on every finger Bracelets on her wrists
And she sang with a voice Which bewitched me
We met with a kiss A hit - then a miss
lt wasn't all bliss, but we started. Then we went our own ways
We each went back into the hustle and bustle of life
l saw her again one night lt's been such a long time... (Jules And Jim Script - Dialogue Transcript)
Scene 19: A magnet for all poles
The first few lines of this scene describe Catherine as a different person for each of Jules, Jim and Albert. This actually means, that cat is seeking a different level of relationship with each of them. She is unable to find all of friendship, love and sensual needs from one man. So, she goes out to seek each of these desires with a different partner, and is absolutely justified considering that she truly believes in living life on her own terms. The shot of the entire family with Jim and Albert cycling across the road was a new method then. Truffaut can be credited to have creatively captured the moving image from an approaching cyclists point of view, by the camera itself placed on another cycle. This is followed by a scene describing the newly formed affinity between Jim and Catherine. They talk about it in a room, and exchange their views on it. Jim is slightly hesitant, although he already knows he loves Cat, whereas, Cat is more about taking the plunge, being an adventurous woman that she is. I can only describe this as a metaphorical hypothetical question and attempt to answer it too Is the contrast between the film and life between time, something that is painful and wont last? An instant is powerful, but, it cant last. And love, is caught between the two. Jules feels that Cat is full of desires and curiosity. The free life of cat is not an enigma, its her way of living, just that it is cruel to others. Then, comes the scene where the two get close just below the chalet, and Jules witnesses it above. Noises were generated in many circles, about a husband being a silent observer to his wifes liberties. But, this is about approving to the whims of Cat, and probably the last attempt in having her around, though painfully with his best pal. They discuss the exchange of a book Elected Affinties which sums up the preferences Catherine has and the level of relationship she wishes to have with different men.
Scene 20: A new wave
In this scene, Jules calls up Jim for the book, but it is more for convincing him to marry Catherine. The reason, presumably is that he knows he cant hold on to the sand that is Cat, and yet, he wants her to be preserved in a way or another. He finds it best for Jim to marry her, and start it all afresh. Now is time for Jim to movie in. Cat shows him the room, and begins a scene of love-making. Truffaut disliked intimate love scenes and instead focuses more on shadows and the gestures of pulling the hair, to describe the passionate moments. With the new relationship canvas drawn, Jules also warns Jim of Cat and also from himself. The entire romantic angles, somehow now seem like vultures hovering over threateningly and seem more destructive. Then, comes a day when Catherine indulges with Jules, seduces him. The entire seen is like a game that Cat plays and can be viewed as a womans desire to rape a man. Rape is simply not physical, but, also about controlling the opposite during the act, and Cat as it appears is controlling the entire act. Really, she herself said, You only truly love once, but happens to fall in love again and again. It shouldnt be viewed from the scope of morality, but from the spectacles of following ones desires and the not the rules. Its better to be imposing yourself, rather than being imposed upon by some obsolete rules of the society.
Scene 21: What goes around.comes around
The scene is of the trio going for a walk around a misty lake surrounded by a valley. They seem to be in peace, and try skipping stones on the water. This scene without dialogs is signifying the dark haze gathering around the relationship of Jim and Catherine, especially after her seduction attempt on Jules. With the darker shades, and a not so happy looking nature, one can clearly guess the turn of events in their lives.
Scene 22: Done for good
Jim leaves for Paris on a call from his newspaper. He bids a warm goodbye, with promises of coming back and having children with Cat. However, the underlying part of this scene is more to show that trouble maybe just around the corner for the couple. The metaphorical sequence of a train leaving from right to left is always a sign of something opposite to happen in the lives of people. Jim, back in Paris confesses to Gilberta of his marriage plans, which obviously has her heartbroken. Following which, he meets several of his acquaintances at the hotel, all of whom certainly inquire about Jim. In the films context, this is a way of saying that with all that Jim has done at Jules place, he needs to ask this to himself: Hows Jules? Jim also runs against Teresa, the smoking engine, who has an influencing 2 minute chatter with Jim. In this, she describes all her past flings and experiences, and finally that of settling with one man. This explains why, Teresa can be no match to Catherines eccentricity because she finally settles with one man after all her soul searching. So, it means if a man can restrict a woman with just one desire and satisfy it again and again he can have the girl for ever. Jim plans to go back, but is stopped by Gilberta. She pleads him to stay back for a week citing that he will have Catherine for a lifetime now. Jim writes back saying he has certain farewells to accomplish. This sparks some trouble in Cats mind, if he truly loves her. All in all, Jims trip back to Paris only sparks unrest in the relationship, and further scenes can supposedly be reactionary.
Scene 23: Back to square one
This is a scene where Jules and Jim are together for the first time in the absence of Catherine. They end up discussing her a lot, and with Catherine gone away for a while, like before, Jim decides to return to Paris, away from this entire muddle. Jim is surprised to find Jules receiving him at the station and not Catherine. On reaching back to the chalet, he finds that Catherine has taken her small sabbatical yet again. Jim and Jules end up discussing her. For the first time, it seems that he understands her. He calls her the real woman, full of desires and whims. He believes, that is the reason they love her so much, and because of this love, Catherine truly feels like a queen between them. This probably explains the affinity of each of them with the other two, and why they stick around in spite of their misgivings towards each other from time to time. Jim, however, wishes not to go through what Jules faced, and wishes to leave immediately. Jules agrees to play along, when Catherine suddenly bumps in from the window. This shot signifies the free radical nature of Catherine. She left home like a free bird, in an attempt to settle scores when she realised that Jim would stay back to bid farewell to his people. Usually, we find women ranting and getting depressed about all this, instead, Catherine believes in letting herself loose, and finding someone who would suit her state of mind for that time. Scene 24: Paradise Lost?
Jim soon gets to know from Catherine of her recent escapade. It is her way of balancing things. She knew, Jims delay was to stay with Gilberta, and she had her own time to neutralise things. This was Catherines way of living. Our patriarchal society will never agree to this, and brand her as a slut and what not. But, isnt the logic simple, if you are ready to occupy equal positions in a relationship, rather than dominate it as per the society? Catherine did to Jim, what he tried to do and hoped to escape. It is justified of Catherine to do so, and free herself of any angst, and at the same time remove an guilt from Jims end. A way of starting the relationship from scratch rather than living with the thought of having a mate who is shared. This treatment shatters Jim, but, overnight he gets the message, and being mutually in love, they take the relationship forward. They remain chaste form some time to ensure that the Cat isnt pregnant from her recent act, and then start trying. Somehow, Cat doesnt conceive and the couple is found visiting doctors to identify the problem. The entire scene keeps up with the personality of Catherine, and although has startled audiences over generations, it delivers the simple message of gender equality very effectively. On one hand, we have Gilberta as a woman who faces angst and depression on account of losing out to Jim, and is ready to wait forever, even with the fact of sharing him with Catherine. This is nothing but a society sponsored definition of love, and actually a compromise. Catherine stands against this system, and fights for herself. Remarkably, she fights this way for herself, and not as an activist, signifying how each woman must do this in her life to overcome the bias, and not wait for a feminist movement to remove this social discord.
Scene 25: The OR deal
Jim and Catherine are no longer a happy couple. They still love each, at least Jim does, but two things make Catherine feel sick about everything 1. She is tired of waiting to have a child, which probably will never come. 2. Jim is still in touch with Gilberta, and she cannot stand his ambivalent state of mind, something she has gone through. Clearly, men cannot agree to sharing their woman sexually, whereas, women cannot stand sharing their man on an emotional level. Their quarrel makes Jim decide for a temporary break-up of 3 months, and they will reunite if they are still in love. Catherines dialogue at this juncture is important: Are you in pain?
Not me, not anymore.
Because we mustn't suffer...not at the same time
Once you stop suffering, l'll suffer (Jules And Jim Script - Dialogue Transcript)
Catherine actually enjoys this situation and believes her time of suffering might come too if she is to really miss Jim in coming days. She walks into Jules room, and they have a very emotional conversation. Probably, for the first time in the movie, Cat opens her heart out to Jules. Jules supports her really well, smokes a cigarette after a long time, and assures Catherine of Jims honesty and his own love for her. Wait, we suddenly realise that Jim alone isnt ambivalent. During their heart rending conversation, Jules pledges his love for Cat, to which she responds: I love you too This might be considered as a usual retort to I love you in todays times, but is actually used for saying, that apart from Jim, I love you too. Thus ends the scene with Jim leaving for Paris, and Jules role being to be alongside Cat, something he attaches a lot of importance to.
Scene 26: Counterbalance
Cat and Jim leave for the station. On this foggy day, train is rescheduled, and they book a hotel for the day. The entire day is spent without a word being exchanged. Jim, in his thoughts thinks about what could /couldnt have happened/happen. Catherine scrubbing her face is a treat to watch, as if clearing her conscience of what has gone by. Truffauts brilliance makes this scene memorable. It could have been passed of as a lewd scene with some love-making, but, instead he chooses to show the maturity in their relationship and signs off. Jim leaves, and the train leaving from right to left is a sign of things going in a downwards spiral.
Scene 27: Amores Perros
Jim is back in Paris and very ill. Gilberta takes care of him, and he is back in an epistolic relationship with Catherine. They exchange letters, where Cat wants him back as she is pregnant. Jim, is ill and doubts if Cat speaks the truth. Anyway, he finds it disgusting to think of the child, if it really is coming, belonging to Albert. He sends a stern reply, till he finds an emotionally loaded letter, talking about the soon-to-be born, the emotions of Cat flowing across the letter. The woman he loves, is pregnant and this solves all their past issues. Jim decides to rush to Voges this time. One thing is clear from the scene, that women although cheated upon everywhere, are less insecure compared to men. They are scary to some extent, and their insecurity of sharing their girl with someone else, transcends all boundaries. Also, just when Jim decides to come back, he receives a message that the child has died in pre-natal stage. He thinks that Catherines way of trying to redefine the rules of life (read society), have actually killed the seed of life. It is now about staying away, and leading their own lives with Jules and Gilberta respectively.
Scene 28: Str(i)angulation
Jim bumps into Jules by chance in Paris. Jules and Catherine have moved to Paris. They plan to meet at Jules place. Catherine now owns a car. The trio set out for eating out, and bump into Albert at the restaurant. Entire co-incidental scene appears too good to be true. They have food together, and Catherine decides to stay back with Albert for the night. Jules and Jim discuss about Catherine. She now wields a gun, and has been showing suicidal tendencies of late. Jules now seems to be a better man, with his experience in this relationship. He now shows the maturity, earlier only Jim could have shown. He understands Catherine better than Jim. Jules acknowledges Jims decision to marry Gilberta, as he has moved on at the right time. Jim asserts its because, once its over with Cat, its truly over. Something that Jules also had experienced before. The entire shot of the trio together is full of tension and the interactions are formal and solemn. Catsmotto has always been: For a couple, atleast one has to always be faithful, namely the other. These words artistically sum up her character.
Scene 29: Not with you, Not without you
Catherine literally stalks Jim, at his place with her car, honking the horn and driving around curves in the out. If the car is assumed to represent her, then this driving describes her rendezvous with the different men in her life, and the way she has moved on from one relationship to another. She then calls upon Jim, and they have a small conversation here. Cat wants him back, but Jim refuses saying he will be marrying Gilberta. The entire argument moves to how Catherine has tried to explore love, but as a pioneer she wasnt humble, but, egocentric instead. This has created a mess in the lives of Jules, Gilberta and many more. Their discussion throws light on Truffauts attempted message throughout the film. For the first time, he explicitly sends his message through the words of Jim. Jim agrees to the curiosity that everyone has about love. This is something beyond the boundaries of society. He also appreciates Cats motive of discovering love beyond social stigma, which is hypocrisy at best anyway. Cats principle of love and couple not matching up is also highlighted. But, Jim believes that one always has to move on in life, and that this curiosity of being a rebel has to be curbed when trying to find love with someone. Clearly, Catherine who can be an inspiration to men and women alike wrt her take on love, messes up here start by not trying to control her curiosity even once. Her line-up of relationships, have to get complicated and probably impossible, if someone from the partners turns up to be like her. Hence, when Jim became ambivalent like her, and literally started two-timing, Catherine couldnt bear the taste of her own medicine. No wonder then that an entire effort in a new direction fell apart. Cat cannot take this reality anymore and attempts to shot at Jim. He somehow escapes, and their equation is all but over. Truffaut believes in repeating a point thrice in the movie to make it stay with the audience, and hence, the free spirited life of Catherine is demonstrated thrice through Teresa, Catherine herself and the plays and finally though the words of Jim. Left with no other option, Jim now resigns himself to the institution of marriage. Eventually, everyone finds himself/herself back to following social norms.
Scene 30: Alls well, when the ends NOT well
A few months later, the trio happen to cross each other at a hall. Jim is happy to see Jules, and not so excited about seeing Catherine again. Cat insists on going out on a drive, and they all go for it. She drives recklessly, and it gives the feeling of her mood swings to some extent. It definitely must be a surge of blood within, as she sees Jim after about three months. The trio stop over at a café in a dance hall. The entire footage is shot at a fast pace showcasing the intensity in the minds of the characters. Also, the way of shooting the driving scene is fantastic considering the technology available in the early 60s. At the café, Jules discusses with Jim about his relationship with Catherine. He recounts how Jim easily got along with her, but, eventually proved to be a bit too much to handle for even Catherine. Simply, Jules here is suggesting how Catherines tendency to discover love with multiple partners, was justified, but, she couldnt take it when Jim loved Gilberta apart from her. She couldnt tolerate sharing her love. Jules, though appears wiser with his own experience, still cannot comprehend Jims love for Catherine.
This scene has a metaphorical placement of drinking glasses on the table. There are two glasses on one side of the table, and the third one adrift. The two glasses cannot symbolise Jules and Cat, because Cat doesnt go back to a love she has overcome. Same is the case for Cat and Jim. Without doubt, it is about Jules and Jim, and the camaraderie and homo-eroticism shared between the two in several previous scenes suggests, that this is perhaps the only everlasting relationship of the film. At this time, Catherine asks Jim to join her for a ride, and asks Jules to keep watching. They ride together, and in a few minutes the car is on a bridge, which is broken at the other end, and the car crosses this end only to plunge into the river. It reminisces of Catherines fall into the Seine, but only that this one is more tragic than imagined. Interestingly, this part has been improvised by Truffaut and the scripter Gruault, and is not from the book. Jules as usual continues to be dazed by Catherines capriciousness and he really cant get enough of her dead or alive. The scene of the car going down is representative of the downward spiral, the duo went through in the last few months, as also gives the message of how such relationships cannot work out for long. As long as, only one of the two partners was ambivalent and had multiple partners, it seemed fine. But, it all went haywire when Catherine met almost her equal in Jim. Jules, who had always been a spectator to Catherines actions, at best is feeling a sense of Relief. Subors narration from hereon is soothing as a contrast to the chilling climax. He narrates the entire cremation process. Jules is left with Sabine, and the rest is all gone into ashes. Jim and Catherine are incinerated considering their Catholic practices. Jules would have their ashes mixed. Catherine wanted hers to be strewn from a hill-top, but it wasnt permitted. The urns with the ashes are sealed and kept away. The entire cremation scene, with a compelling background narration has been shot in a marvellous way. Catherine, the free soul wanted her ashes to become a part of the earth and the air. This was not permitted by laws. It is a brilliant metaphor for how, the idea of freedom a woman is not accepted by the patriarchal society, and all the movements form women equality are in vain, unless something so simple for a woman to equal man in terms of rights is granted. Jules walks off, and one can interpret it as a walk back to the society, which will permit the usual relationships, and probably outlaw characters like Catherine. From Jims angle, it was about moving on, and reading Catherine correctly, almost every time, but for the last moments. From Catherines perspective, it was always about settling scores. It was about ferociously pursuing her love, and be very non-chalant about it at the same time. She really brought a closure to the story and her relationship, where her intense love for Jim lead to only one message Not with you, Not without you.