Saturday, January 29, 2011
Les Bonnes Femmes
Well, at least that's the message one gathers from Claude Chabrol’s Les Bonnes Femmes at first glance.
But truly, the message is a lot deeper.
The film is an anti-love story, following four shopgirls as they trudge through their dreary, uninspiring lives in Paris. They are women we encounter every day. They are us. A party girl. The timid, loveblind fiance. The girl who secretly wants to be a star. The girl who dreams of being swept up by a white knight.
But unfortunately, these women live in the real world where men are not Prince Charmings.
Reality is a knife that can cut deep when you're busy drowning in yourself.
The sultry and scandalous Les Bonnes Femmes was released in France in 1960. Its graphic content (for that time period) caused such an uproar, citizens trashed movie theaters showing the film.
By the time it was released in the United States in 1966, it was overshadowed by more famous French New Wave films.
What I enjoyed about this film was that behind the ugliness of men, it showed the ugliness of women. Humans are crippled with millions of flaws, one of the most important being faulty perception. Why do we long for the mysterious, gorgeous stranger when our soul mate sits under our nose? Why do we waste our lives daydreaming when we could be living? Why don't we find happiness, rather than wait for it to fall in our laps?
The film doesn't promise answers. It just merely provides the questions.
The rest is your job.