Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
irony, nihilism, bleakness, and alienation
on 10 August 2011
This is a very good, very French film. From the reviews, it seems to have confused a great many people: not only are the protagonists bizaarely unfathomable, but the young lady maintains this unbearably insipid dialogue going about what she is experiencing and why, a kind of cheesy left-bank philosophy that . However, these things should not be taken at face value, in my opinion, but as ironic view into the characters: they are indeed lost idiots, clueless about how to live their lives without inflicting cruelties on anyone close to them, and thinking way too much in the self-important manner of dim-witted narcissists. Those are the characters involved.
The plot involves the retaliation of a pretty young woman against her boyfriend. For whatever reason, he has lost all sexual interest in her and is abruptly cruel while openly flirting with other women. She observes this in a heartbroken way, continually trying to seduce him - all graphically acted out - and yet she cannot bring herself to leave him. This is odd because there is absolutely nothing interesting about him (or her for that matter), there is no emotion or warmth on display from either of them, and the passion if it ever existed is long dead. So instead of leaving him, she decides to get even by seeking a series of ever more degrading sexual encounters. It is horribly explicit.
This is not pornography because it is not meant to titillate. The girl is sullen and blank in every one of the situations, never showing the slightest pleasure or interest in her partners. Indeed, the only pleasure she shows is a fit of despairing auto-satisfaction, all the time describing to herself what she is feeling in a detached and idiotic voice, without real insight. It is genuinely awful, a kind of static emptiness. Another artful twist is the long, unexplained sequences, when the viewer must guess what is happening. They don't make sense and are not tied off as you would expect in a hollywood film; this creates gaps that the viewer must fill in, must work to interpret. That too is a trait of many good French films.
I enjoyed this on re-viewing, even if it is sad and cruel. It is deep psychodrama that should not be taken at face value. Recommended.