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Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A story stretched to breaking point, 6 April 2008
This review is from: The Singer [DVD] [2006] (DVD)
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The plot line is simple -- an aging singer, who in this country would be playing working men's clubs and the like, in between bingo games, meets a much younger woman and they have a one night stand. She's vulnerable due to her failed marriage and the loss of custody of her son.

She works as an estate agent and he employs her to find him a new home. She reinvigorates his life while he alternately charms and repulses her. That's pretty much it.

This is a long film -- too long for its plot. It is padded out by the music as performed by Depardieau. I expect the music is intended to indicate his character's emotional state, but it could have been better illustrated by playing a few minutes of the relevant tracks, rather than entire songs. Indeed, the effect the music has is that the viewer is on a never-ending Saga cruise, or locked in a British Legion club for a fortnight.

By the end, this film has said very little, and progression is non-existent. It plants both main characters exactly where they were at the start of the story, and only Alain's ex-wife and manager has seen any changes in her life.

For the first 45 minutes, the two main actors manage to make the characters believable and sympathetic. This should indicate their level of talent -- after all, this is not Catherine Zeta Jones marrying Michael Douglas, or an Anna Nicole Smith scenario. Alain the character has very little going for him, but he is imbued with some charm, as is Marion, who could have been little more than a foil. Both actors deserve praise for taking their characters to more complex levels than this film deserves.

The sleazy opening 15 minutes become charming for a half hour or so, but soon after the one hour mark, fatigue sets in, and unfortunately there is not enough art in this film to make up for the lack of story. This would have been a two-star review, but the film was rescued by the two leads.
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