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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect study of obsessional love, 17 Aug 2010
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This review is from: L'ennui [DVD] [2000] (DVD)
Let me start by stating that I do not understand the 5 one-star reviews; this is a wonderful movie. It is frighteningly accurate and beautifully acted.
I presume it is called Ennui because boredom can lead to obsessional, self-destructive patterns of behaviour. Nothing is more destructive than trying to catch the wind.
Here an older man (a philosopher poet - aren't all Frenchmen?) meets a younger woman who has caused another older man to die 'loving her'.
Our hero believes he can view things objectively: 'you seem most ordinary, not at all the kind of a woman to cause a man to lose his head!' he boldly states.
She just shrugs unemotionally. She is without emotion, a true nymphomaniac. She gets all she needs through intimate physical contact.
Within moments they are making love and his fate is sealed. His ego is on the rocks. He's doomed.
Aristotle warned: 'do not seek a greater degree of clarity than the subject matter allows' and our hero fails to heed these words.
La femme fatale offers herself up to him completely, but like many young females she has no thought or time for exclusiveness - she has, in fact, a younger, unemployed boyfriend who she no doubt relates to more closely, and she makes it quite clear that they make love whenever they meet: 'what is that stain on your dress?' our post Lapsarian hero asks her: 'Momo and I made love yesterday and I kept my clothes on' she replies matter of fact. She is always truthful and it is her truth that cuts through him like a rapier. His need to possess forces him to ask more and more searching questions and her honest answers make him more insecure and his actions become more inflamed by jealousy: 'you are a wreck!' his ex girlfriend tells him. He could of course have stuck with his beautiful, far more suitable, ex, but l'ennui and his need for self discovery has forced him to face the void; and he cannot handle it.
Nothing scares a man more than an uncontrollable woman.
He even ends up offering her money so she have can have a better holiday with her boyfriend: an unselfish act of love that is of course not so unselfish; he is immediately rewarded by her intimate and enthusiastic attentions in bed. She wants to do it everywhere; in the car, in the woods, in the cinema.
Ennui is a study of absurdity, existentialism and basic human nature. A fecund young woman who simply wants attention and especially sensual attention, and a bored older man who wants to turn back the tide and who cannot handle sharing and not being worshiped and obeyed like a god.
Of course all this tension and jealousy leads to endless passionate love and that is the 'up'side if you like of obsession but the downside is terrible.
If you like thoughtful realistic studies of human relationships then this is for you. It's a masterpiece of its genre and only the enlightened, morally free thinking, French can make this kind of movie.
Tres Bonne! Vive le France! JP :)
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2010 10:49:22 BDT
BoatDrinks says:
I don't disagree with your appraisal of the themes explored in this film, but how you can class it as a masterpiece is quite beyond my comprehension. Although the movie begins interestingly, it quickly becomes repetitive and finally mind-numbingly boring. I don't have a problem with cinema that's not plot driven, but with the absence of any storyline whatsoever you're just left with a huge void.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Sep 2010 21:40:32 BDT
Obsessional love is repetitive and to the observer or friend of the person who is behaving irrationally it is very boring and often annoyingly frustrating as you try and show them the errors of their ways. But no matter what you do they will not give up their obsession until it all but destroys them. The obsession becomes their raison d'être! So, that is why I believe this film is such a brilliant and accurate portrayal of this particular romantic disease of the mind, heart and soul. Cheers. JP :)
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