In the countryside near Normandy's beaches lives Marie, unhappy. It's 1944, she's married to Jérôme, a somewhat fussy milquetoast, diffident to the war around him and unwilling to move his ... See full summary »
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At the start of World War II, the fate of the free world hangs in the balance at the posh Hotel Splendide in Bordeaux. Cabinet members, journalists, physicists, and spies of all persuasions gather in order to escape the Nazi occupation of Paris. High society socialites hobnob with jailbirds. Murderous intrigues, scientific secrets and love affairs flourish.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
'Bon Voyage' is a pallid Gallic farce set during the early days of the Nazi occupation of France. The over-complicated plot revolves around a self-absorbed movie actress directly or indirectly involved with a patsy author, a spineless government official, Nazi collaborators, and French resistance fighters attempting to smuggle heavy water over to England.
Though the movie does exude a certain manic energy at times, director Jean-Pierre Rappeneau too often mistakes movement for style - in the naïve hope, apparently, that if he just keeps everyone running around from one location to another, we won't have time to notice that there really isn't anything fun or interesting going on in the story department. The final result of all this ceaseless hubbub is that the film simply ends up wearing us out trying to keep up with it, an exhaustion compounded by the fact that we often aren't quite sure who all these people are and what it is they're exactly up to. The movie looks great physically and Rappeneau does have a certain way with crowd scenes, but those virtues are really all for naught when the characters and storyline are both so conspicuously unengaging.
The movie features at least two legends of modern French cinema, Isabelle Adjani and Gerard Depardieu, who, along with the rest of the cast, capture the arch mannerisms necessary for a film with its roots essentially planted in Feydeau farce. Regrettably, the film, for all its excessive huffing and puffing, fails to come to life on the screen, an unhappy turn of events given all the energy and talent involved in its making.
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