In 1657, playwright/actor Molière, having been given a theater in the capital by the King, is back in Paris after touring the kingdom of France with his company of players. One day, a young lady asks him to follow her to the deathbed of her mother... Thirteen years earlier, Molière already runs a troupe but goes broke and is thrown to prison. Fortunately (?) his debt is covered by Monsieur Jourdain, a rich man who wants him to help him rehearse a one-act play he has written with a view to seducing a beautiful bright young widow, Célimène. As Jourdain is married to Elmire, and is the "respectable" father of two daughters his design must remain secret so Molière is introduced into the house as Tartuffe, an austere priest...Written by
The plot of "Moliere" was actually loosely based on two of his plays, 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme' and 'Tartuffe'. See more »
Mr. Tartuffe, I understood long ago that men of the Church are for the most part mere actors, who endlessly repeat the same lines, with more or less conviction.
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It definitely helps if you are familiar with the works of Molière
Molière 'Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme' and 'Tartuffe' and his own life M Jourdaine a complete fool
You do not have to be familiar with the works of Molière to enjoy this film, though it's much, much more likely you will if you have seen or read his plays. This is because the plot and style of this film is very strongly inspired by his plays--particularly "Le Bourgeoise Gentilhomme" and "Tartuffe". So, for the unfamiliar, I'd rate the film a 6 and for the lovers of Molière, I'd score this film an 8.
The film is a tad difficult to follow as it does not follow a liner timeline. In fact it bounces around a bit. This is hard to follow because Romain Duris (as Molière) looks pretty much the same through the 13 year course of the film. When the film begins, it is at the present time. Then, Molière has a flashback where he remembers what life was like BEFORE he became famous--13 years earlier. At that time, he was briefly in prison for bad debts (something the author actually did have happen to him) but was rescued by a rich member of the Bourgeoise, Mr. Jourdaine. However, Jourdaine did not do this for strictly noble reasons--he wanted Molière to help him in his efforts to win the heart of a young woman. However, Jourdaine is already married (to a lovely lady he sadly neglects) and there isn't a prayer the young woman will return his advances. What's to become of all this? See the film.
The story plays much like a production by Molière--combined with a few facts from the playwright's life. In the end, everything is wrapped up perfectly and the film is lovely--with great sets and a terrific script. But it's also the sort of costume drama that might bore many--as most folks (especially non-French viewers) today probably have little, if any, interest in this sort of thing. It's a shame, as it is quite lovely and engaging--particularly as the movie progresses.
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