Okay, one more French film and then I promise I'll lay off them for a while.
In the past couple weeks, I have been in a very hazy and philosophical mood. Early French films are the perfect brain food for me, as dumb as that might sound. Sometimes, I just need to watch films which force me to think. Force me to feel.
Les Biches provided that opportunity.
The 1968 Chabrol film focuses on the struggle between love and lust, friendship and power, and ignorance and understanding.
It revolves around Frédérique, a bored, rich lesbian with an icy demeanor. For amusement, she picks up a beautiful young street artist, named Why, who is drawing deer on a sidewalk.
Frédérique takes the homeless girl to live at her magnificent waterfront home in St. Tropez. Why is introduced to a dream world. She wears glamorous clothes at lavish parties. She lounges in the sun all day. She can have whatever she wants.
But being Cinderella comes with a price.
Although the two women are lovers, they will never be equals in the eyes of Frédérique. Why seems to be an object at the rich lady's disposal. She is not a girl. She is a pet, a servant, and a shiny trophy. It is a chilly, domineering relationship.
When a handsome architect, Paul, worms his way into their lives, the fragile relationship crumbles almost immediately. A tornado of jealousy, suspicion, and betrayal occurs.
The film is a bit slow-paced and forces us to regard a message almost always plaguing society.
Money does not buy happiness, especially when you have it your entire life. When you're too rich, people are easily purchased and easily tossed aside. Life is a never-ending battle between right and wrong.
And nobody wins in the end.