Paul, an irritable and stressed-out hotel manager, begins to gradually develop paranoid delusions about his wife's infidelity. As he succumbs to green-eyed jealousy, his life starts to ...
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Paul, an irritable and stressed-out hotel manager, begins to gradually develop paranoid delusions about his wife's infidelity. As he succumbs to green-eyed jealousy, his life starts to crumble. Each step on his downward spiral to madness seems to accelerate, driving him further along the path to a personal hell. Finally, the former shell of his personality cracks completely, with tragic consequences.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
It is said that Claude Chabrol valued very much a good sense of humor in his actors and that his collaboration with Emmanuelle Béart in this film was a difficult one because she was completely devoid of it. See more »
What's happening to me? What have I done? Let's see... we're about to go to the clinic... in Clermont. Both of us... but we're still here... just as before. "Just as before" what? I don't know anymore. I'm losing it. I just hope she don't pretend... I need to put my head in order. I need to be careful. I can't... I musn't... never again... No... Let's see...
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The movie closes with a title that reads "No end". See more »
Quite interesting film on obsession (an obsession of jealousy, in the specific case) and on the observation that hell is man-made. I liked the very solar performance of Emmanuelle Béart, while I expected something more from François Cluzet.
In order to frame the film properly, however, one must consider that the original script is from 1964 and that Chabrol went to a certain length not to let us lose sight of this fact: the film is shot in a very 60's technicolor; one of the hotel guests uses a camera rather than a video-camera, and the scene he shoots have an unmistakably 60's flavor; the water-ski scene (the key moment of the whole film) has a 60's pace and framing,... We are obviously supposed to read the film in a 1960's perspective. And, considering the political climate in France in the 60's, and the nature of Paul Prieur occupation (he is a hotel owner, therefore a businessman), I find it impossible not to read this film as a statement of the impossibility of the bourgeois ideal of happiness.
The bourgeois values make people equipped to strive for more, but don't give them the emotional tools to deal with their life once they are "arrived." The feeling that there must be something more, and that this can't be the perfection of life is too easily translated in the feeling that there *is* something wrong (a cheating wife: the greatest shame for the latin male), and in the creation of a personal hell.
It is very significant, I think, that the film was released at the dawn of the "new economy" which, even more that the traditional bourgeois values, leads people to a life of continuous movement, and makes them emotionally unprepared to deal with being finally arrived.
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