After being discharged from the army, Antoine Doinel centers a screwball comedy where he applies for different jobs and tries to make sense of his relationships with women.After being discharged from the army, Antoine Doinel centers a screwball comedy where he applies for different jobs and tries to make sense of his relationships with women.After being discharged from the army, Antoine Doinel centers a screwball comedy where he applies for different jobs and tries to make sense of his relationships with women.
Antoine finds a job as a night porter in a hotel in Paris, thanks to Christine's father's recommendation, a comely Christine visits him one night, she greets him on the new job and seems casually happy but not so enthusiastic. Soon he is fired for being an unwitting helper of a private detective Henri (Harry-Max), who instead introduces him to the new exciting line of business managed by Monsieur Blady (Falcon). Antoine starts his new vocation with great passion although his stalking skill is a far cry from professional. Truffaut's perspicacious insight of urban savvy is brought to the fore in this segment, mainly surrounding two cases, a subtle love triangle about a (closeted) man looking for his magician lover and a more detailed inside-job, where Antoine is assigned to undercover in a shoe shop owned by Georges Tabard (Lonsdale, a great scene-stealer), who wants the agency to find out why he is so disliked by everyone around him, but the irony is that during Georges' loquacious introduction of his background, the reason behind that is pretty crystal-clear. During the course, Antoine is hopelessly having a crush with Georges' wife Fabienne (Seyrig, enigmatic and fabulously seductive), the apotheosis of a woman's sheer perfection. He is torn between his unquenchable fascination to Fabienne and the on-and-off relationship with Christine, which extracts the most vehement outburst in the mirror scenes where Antoine's unfitting characteristic is pungently reflected, with the iterations of self-persuasion and self-boost, to no avail. Eventually after tasting the temptation, which costs him the second job, he reconciles with Christine in the cutesy chapter where he works as a TV repairman, but the uncertainty of his own feelings becomes more pronounced in the coda, where a stalker makes a wanton confession to Christine in the presence of Antoine, both dismiss at him on the spot, but think twice, it is the capriciousness of love and emotions that will certainly puzzle Antoine, and trigger every viewer, to discover what will happen to him and Christine later, aka. in BED & BOARD (1970), approximately after a two-years spell.
STOLEN KISSES is charming in its carefree tempo and disarming in its frankness about whimsical triviality, it is not a major or challenging piece of work from Truffaut, but still scintillates with the profundity of a intelligent life-observer, an obliging humorist and an inspiring filmmaker.
- Jan 10, 2016