The Salt of Tears
- 1h 40min
A provincial youngster who travels up to Paris to sit an entrance exam for a "grande école". His path crosses that of a young woman and they strike up a short-lived relationship.A provincial youngster who travels up to Paris to sit an entrance exam for a "grande école". His path crosses that of a young woman and they strike up a short-lived relationship.A provincial youngster who travels up to Paris to sit an entrance exam for a "grande école". His path crosses that of a young woman and they strike up a short-lived relationship.
A provincial bedmate of his, Geneviève, informs him that she is pregnant. He asks "de quoi?" (with what?), and when she informs him of the obvious, he accuses her of having trapped and betrayed him. From this we would have to conclude that they were having what we now call "unprotected sex," and that he had just been assuming the young woman was taking birth control pills or something along the same lines, such that he did not have to do anything to avoid a pregnancy. (He is in no position financially to support a child.)
A young woman in the Paris suburbs, Djemila, who falls for him when he comes to the capital to take an entrance exam, agrees to a (cheap) hotel room tryst for a weekend (she will have to pay), but when Geneviève "forces" Luc to go to a party with her, he doesn't bother to call Djemila to tell her he won't be able to join her. She is, of course, broken hearted.
And so things go. He meets another young woman in Paris once he starts school there, Betsy. She convinces him to let one of her colleagues, Paco, stay with them. Luc discovers that Betsy is also having sex with Paco, but he just sort of lets it ride.
As you might imagine, eventually Luc's world falls apart, since he seems to live in a perpetual haze of niceness and nonchalance.
There are lots of things one could criticize here, I suppose. Luc wants to follow in his father's footsteps as a menuisier (cabinet maker), but we never find out why, and never hear why it's so important to him that he would decide to go to Paris for three years to get a diploma in it from the most select school in France. (No, it doesn't seem that he's just looking for an excuse to party away from home like too many American college students.) Nor do we learn much about his relationship with his father. As a result, there isn't a lot to Luc, for us, other than the fact that he enjoys having sex. For a 100-minute movie, that's not a lot of character development. The three women he has sex with are developed even less.
All that said, I wasn't bored, and found the whole thing pleasant. Just the way the young women found Luc. I really wish someone would have told the director that Luc's last line in the movie, as it is, comes out of nowhere and really strikes a false note.
- Jan 30, 2021