Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Les Regrets :: 60 Seconds review

By Cédric Kahn

Valeria Bruni Tedeschi as Maya
Arly Jover as Lisa
Yvan Attal as Mathieu Liévin

{***Contains some Spoilers, not many***}

This is the only film I watched this year at the London Film Festival. I love French cinema as it always transports me into a free spirited dimension.

Les Regrets, like other CK's films, is centred on ordinary people with ordinary lives caught by a sudden crisis. In this instance, Mathieu's mid life crisis materialises into a magnetic passion for an unconventional old flame, which takes, under CK's direction, an unprecedented turn. 

The crisis is two-folded: on one side he loses his last parent (his mother) leaving him with the burden of selling his family home. This bereavement symbolises a definitive departure from childhood. On the other side, he meets his ex-lover and is taken by an uncontrollable passion for her. He still looks dearly in love with his graceful wife, but the chemistry with Maya plays like a magnet. Although turbulent and unstable, it takes him back to her and her to him. They are about to flee to Barcelona when she has got an afterthought. They break up again. As time goes by, he becomes increasingly restless and ends up (literally) chasing her in the streets with tragicomic effects {it was apparently the only non-scripted scene of the entire film - the director revealed during the post-screening question time}.

Paradoxically, his madness is the source of extra-lucidity allowing him to see clarity in his life. 

The incredible chemistry between the the two characters is alone a sufficient reason to go and watch this film. Bruni-Tedeschi exudes an aura of sensuality that would make succumb the coolest man, and Attal's introversion and clumsy passion makes his character one-of-a-kind. It shouldn't be underestimated the key role of the cheated wife either. She plays her role with extreme dignity and, as CK himself observed, the audience always tends to sympathise with the abandoned side.

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