Camille redouble (2012)
User ReviewsReview this title
Although mostly a comedy, with light-hearted/comic situations as Camille returns to her teenage years, this film treated the conundrums/ paradoxes of time travel in quite a serious way at times and was actually quite thought provoking. And a tragic scenario involving Camille and her mother is set up incredibly well, so when it arrives it is just absolutely heartbreaking. Seriously, take tissues.
The director/actress really gives a fantastic performance - convincing as both the bitter, washed up Camille in the future and a mix between this and the wide-eyed teenager she becomes in the past. She does a great job of juggling the comedy and dramatic moments, as both actress and director. I'm surprised never to have heard of her before, but I'm sure after this film she will receive more exposure. She also had a colourful,interesting visual style going on, not least in the extremely cool backwards slow-motion opening credits.
Indeed, this movie is about Camille, a 40-something years old woman struggling in her present life, who has the chance to visit her teenage past. She's trying not to re do the same errors,saying to her parents how much she loves them, trying to bar her future boyfriend to approach her... though it appears that all these attempts are not functioning well. And it reminds us that there is no way trying to change the past, we just have to live with it...
This movie is very interesting, in its approach of some major elements of everyone's life : death, friendship, love. Usually, for a deep analysis of the latter themes you would see a grim movie(at least in France), but with this one, you will come out of the theater thinking and yet with a smile on your face.
The thing that makes this '2nd chance'-time travel plot a really good story is the lead's resistance to repeating the past - in this I cheered her on and wished for the best, because she tries so very hard to avoid the bad things from her adult life and focuses on making the good things happen, most importantly her pregnancy. Watching her come to terms with the things, she realizes she cannot change - most of all her own feelings - is watching an immature adult finally take on adulthood.
That she is also never overly smart, ie. exploiting her superior knowledge of events or experience of life lived, makes her presence in her past one of watching consciousness and self confidence at play. One can imagine oneself being utterly certain about events, as if one had lived them before - and willing to pay the price of certainty.
I don't care about the (surprisingly few) little inconsistencies in the plot - all that matters is the lead being true to her heart. And I was genuinely relieved (if not surprised) that she lets go of trying to fight her heart and starts listening to it, rather than hiding in a bottle.
This message runs through the movie, even to the quoting of the 12 step confirmation: "... and the wisdom to know the difference." It is not moralizing, but there appears to be a need to bring it across. If you come away with only the conclusion that there is no love at the bottom of a bottle, you have probably made the director happy.
Apart from this I really enjoyed the director-lead in her roles - she shone, when she played 16, and looked her real age, when she let the energy evaporate, and then managed to merge the two in the final scenes. Good energy manifestation!
In the tradition of French movies, it is with more than a touch of poetry and focus on genuine human emotions, here the touch of lips as the deciding factor and holder of all important memories, that the movie concludes. French movies remember the body and don't focus overly on sex. Very important in Western and specifically European culture, with the present battle raging between explicitness and sensuality: Remember that the body remembers everything, and that we ARE our bodies!
BTW: I DO wonder if the bicycle crash was an accident, but boy, that looked like something you don't walk away from unscathed!
Unfortunately, the second hour is much less glorious. The script badly flounders and doesn't manage to find a much needed second wind. The situations are under exploited, the characters don't evolve, there are no stakes or consequences, and the plot's final outcome suggests that everything is fate-related: what is then the point of the movie if nothing could have been altered ?
The disappointment is proportional to the high expectations caused by the raving critics.